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Mice as Pets

Looking for a small pet but don’t want to go the usual guinea pig or rabbit route? You may not have considered a mouse as a pet, but the little creatures can be good pets for the right person or family. A Sugarland vet discusses mice as pets below.

Housing

Mice do especially well in groups, because they’re very social animals. Adult males will fight, though, so it’s best to get a few females to house together. Up to four mice can live in a 10-gallon enclosure, although the bigger the cage, the better. Keep your mice’s aquarium indoors, away from any extreme temperatures or drafts. Your mice will also need structures for sleeping, food and water dishes, and exercise wheels.

Diet

Commercially-available mice feed, usually in block or pellet form, is what your mouse’s diet will primarily consist of. Provide clean, fresh water at all times. You can also offer very small bits of fruits and veggies once a day—bananas, carrots, broccoli, and peas can work well. Always ask your vet before giving your pet anything you’re unsure about.

Handling

Mice will probably be skittish until they get used to you, but you can successfully train them to sit on your hand and shoulder. Be gentle, talk softly, and use treats as you gradually get your mouse used to being handled. Don’t pick up a mouse by the middle or the end of the tail—it’s best to scoop them up with both hands, or grasp the base of the tail and cup him in the other hand if you need to grab him quickly.

Temperament

Mice are curious, bright little animals. They like to explore, so if you take them out of their cage, make sure they can’t escape into small crevices or dangerous spots. They’re also rather fragile, so be careful. Young children may have a tough time being gentle enough with mice, so supervise carefully or wait until your kids are older.

Mice generally live between 1-3 years. They may be a perfect pet for someone who doesn’t want a long commitment, but also make sure young children are prepared for the eventual passing of their pet.

Daily Care

Once a day, you’ll need to remove soiled bedding from your mouse’s cage, and take out any soiled or uneaten food. You’ll also need to replace the water bottle with clean, fresh water once daily.

 

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