Mice can be great pets as they are easy to care for, have a quiet demeanor and are overall cute pets to have. Our exotic pet vets in New Ulm discuss everything to do with owning a pet mouse and how you can properly care for your newest addition.
While pet mice aren't typically as open to handling as other rodents might be they can still learn to be comfortable with handling if you begin when they are very young. Mice are typically nocturnal creatures and you may notice that they become the most active at night while you are sleeping. Mice are very entertaining pets to keep and are available in a wide range of colors. Our New Ulm exotic pet vets would be happy to discuss pet mouse ownership with you at any time.
Socializing for Your Pet Mouse
It is ideal to keep at least two mice at a time as these creatures are quite social and thrive best when living with other mice. Our New Ulm exotic pet vets want you to be aware that you should only keep males in pairs if they are from the same litter and have never been separated for any amount of time. Otherwise, it is best to keep pairs or groups of female mice. Keeping males and females together is not a good idea as they will reproduce quickly and you would soon find yourself overrun by mice.
Housing for Your Pet Mouse
It is most common to keep pet mice in wire cages but you must ensure that the wire gaps are small enough that your mice cannot squeeze through them, and try to keep a solid floor as wire floors can be painful for the feet of your mouse. Another great housing option for your mouse is an aquarium, our New Ulm exotic pet vets suggest having an aquarium that is at least 10 gallons with a mesh top.No matter the type of housing enclosure you choose for your pet mouse you should make sure to include multiple levels and areas for your mouse to hide, climb and play. Mice love to play often and so you should include a variety of toys for your mouse such as:
- Wooden blocks to chew on
- Cardboard boxes
- Ladders to make climbing easier
- Rope made of cotton or another natural material
- Cardboard tubes such as paper towel or toilet paper tubes
- Balls made of willow
When it comes to adding substrate for your mouse's habitat you should look for aspen shavings or natural paper bedding as well as offer soft paper such as tissues for bedding for your mouse. You should be sure to change the bedding and thoroughly clean the enclosure with mild soap and water weekly. Do not use pine or cedar shavings as substrate as the oils on these shavings are harmful to mice.
Feeding Your Pet Mouse
Your mouse should be primarily fed a diet that mostly consists of a formulated rodent pellet that includes approximately 16% protein, 18% fiber, and 4% fat. Your mouse should have this available to feed on throughout the time they are awake. Ensure that you are routinely discarding any uneaten food each day.
Your mouse will also enjoy and benefit from nuts, seeds and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement their main diet. These fresh foods should also be discarded each day if uneaten to avoid the risk of them spoiling in the enclosure. It is also very important to always have fresh water available to your mouse at all times.
Health Concerns For Your Pet Mouse
While we try to keep our pets as healthy as possible there is always the potential for health conditions and injuries to occur. A couple of the most common health concerns that may affect your mouse are:
Tumors: Tumors in mice are fairly common and typically malignant, characterized by a visible lump or swelling as well a noticeable difference in your mouse's activity level and significant weight loss. While it is possible for your exotic pet vet to remove the lump there is a large possibility that it may reoccur.
Wet Tail: Wet Tail is a gastrointestinal condition that is caused by an abundance of bacteria in the digestive tract. This condition is characterized by diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, and difficulty walking and can be fatal if it is left untreated. Your exotic pet vet will offer antibiotics as a treatment method for your mouse.
All in all, pet mice can be a lovely addition to your family as they are all and their enclosures don't take up much space. They also will love to socialize and be handled once they have been trained and are comfortable with being handled. Your New Ulm exotic pet vets can offer any further knowledge that you may be looking for before purchasing a pet mouse.