The lovely part of a New Year is that it can be a fresh start and a clean slate. We can concentrate on the best things we do and discard those bad habits. That’s why New Year resolutions arise at this time of year! For 2012, let’s put pets into our good resolutions! More walks perhaps, a little longer play time? Checking that kennels, hutches, runs and cages are all in tip top condition? Get more grooming done? Even simple things like getting vaccination dates into the diary! Here are some more pet resolutions for 2012.
Tips from the small animal experts
One of the largest collections of small pets can be found at Twycross Zoo and its small animal specialists have prepared some basic hints and tips for the mid-winter months.
“Many of our smaller animals will be unable to go outside much due to the cold weather. Because of this we need to ensure that they have supervised access outdoors for short periods when the weather allows. During the winter when our animals are inside for longer periods of time we will always make sure that they have plenty of activities to keep them busy and ensure they still get enough exercise. Simple things can keep rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and ferrets interested and engaged. Try introducing cardboard tubes and boxes, dry (non-toxic) leaves, straw and hay and other items to occupy their time. A good resolution for the dark days of winter is to decide to spend extra time with the animals interacting with them and monitoring them to make sure they are happy and healthy, particularly during very cold spells.
Remember that if you keep your pet indoors, check how the heating will affect them. Don’t place cages too close to radiators and if the cold means the heating is on more frequently, it is extremely important to remember to regularly check their water supply is maintained. Evaporation combined with extra thirst due to central heating drying out the atmosphere can be a problem.