Do you have small pets like guinea pigs, ferrets, or rabbits? Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s a great time to give our little furry friends some fresh air and exercise. However, it’s important to watch your pets closely during outdoor activities. Be diligent about removing any possible dangers so you can enjoy your time outside safely!
Keep Outdoor Activities Safe for Small Pets with These Tip
You can bring rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs outside if you take the necessary precautions. Tiny rodents like hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, and chinchillas are too delicate and vulnerable, so they’re best kept indoors. Follow these guidelines to ensure your time spent outside is safe and fun!
Set Up a Covered Outdoor Pen
A pen is necessary for keeping pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets enclosed so that they don’t run away. However, it’s important to use a pen with a caged cover. It might sound improbable, but there have been many cases of people’s tiny pets getting snatched up by hungry hawks or eagles. Keep predators away with a covered pen and consider draping a sheet over the top to obscure the view—it also provides shade on sunny days!
Only Bring Small Pets Outside on Mild Weather Days
Did you know that rabbits, guinea pigs, and ferrets can’t sweat? This means they’re much more susceptible to heatstroke on very warm days. Spring is a perfect time to bring them outside because the weather is mild—just make sure it isn’t too windy or humid outside. A calm day with a temperature between 18–23°C is ideal. If it’s a few degrees warmer, don’t keep them outside for more than an hour, and ensure you put their playpen somewhere in the shade.
Get a Harness for Backyard Walks
We carry harnesses for small pets! This way, you can let them explore without running the risk of them escaping. Put the harness on securely, but not too tight. Don’t yank on the leash—little rodents are much more delicate than big dogs! Be sure that you’ve thoroughly inspected the area where you’re letting your pets walk.
Inspect the Grass for Sharp Objects or Debris
Mow your grass to 2.5” high, and thoroughly inspect the terrain for any sharp sticks or debris that could potentially injure your pet. Don’t let them run around loose—keeping them in an enclosed playpen will help prevent them from stepping on something or eating something they shouldn’t. Remove any tiny pebbles from their playpen area—they might mistake them for a food pellet.
Don’t Use Lawn Chemicals
Harsh herbicides and insecticides can seriously harm your pets, especially if they decide to chew on the grass. If you plan on bringing your pets outside, use organic or manual methods of pest and weed control.
Keep Them Away from the Garden
Some of the plants in your garden may be toxic to animals—and we know how much they love to chew on leaves, or anything else chewable for that matter! If you’d like to be sure that the plants in your garden are non-toxic, check out our guide on pet-friendly perennials for the garden.
Always Supervise Your Pets Outdoors
We can’t stress this enough! Never leave rabbits, ferrets, or guinea pigs unattended outside, and watch them closely. You don’t want your fun afternoon in the sun to end in heartbreak. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your little critters at all costs. Don’t get too distracted scrolling through social media, and if you have to run inside at a moment’s notice, bring your animals back inside with you.
Visit Mother Nature to stock up on necessary supplies like outdoor pens, harnesses and leashes for pet-friendly outdoor activities in Powell River! If you need any assistance, our animal experts will be happy to make recommendations based on the size and age of your furry pal.