How to Properly Care for a Pet Mouse

My brother had a pet mouse when we were kids growing up, so when my own boy decided he wanted to keep this type of rodent, I was already familiar with the drill. When you buy a mouse at a pet store, they only give you the barebones facts about caring for your new rodent friend. But, you really need to learn more than that. You need to know how to properly care for a pet mouse.

Pet mice are readily available at many pet stores. They come in several colors ranging from white to pure black. Mice are also inexpensive to buy. They make great little pets, as they enjoy gentle handling and human interaction.

Along with buying your pet mouse, you’ll need to provide an enclosure for it. A suitable enclosure will be a small wire cage or a fish aquarium. (If you use an aquarium, you’ll need to cover the top with a wire grate.) If you choose to use a wire cage, it must be designed so the bars are very close together. Otherwise, your pet mouse will easily escape. (If the female members of your household are “screamish”, this could create a real problem!) No matter what type of home you decide to use for your mouse, it must be roomy and large enough to accommodate an exercise wheel, a small, but heavy, ceramic food dish that can’t be easily tipped over, and a water sipper bottle. Plus, your pet needs some room to run around in. If you’re not familiar with a sipper bottle, it hangs on the side of the cage. It has a tube connected to its top that allows your pet mouse to “sip” water from it.

As far as feeding your new rodent, it will need plenty of fresh, clean water. It’s diet should consist of mainly rodent chow or kitten chow. You can give your mouse “treats” of human food, but it’s diet should consist mainly of its chow. The chow will provide the nutrients it needs for optimum heath. Treats can include small pieces of whole-wheat bread, rolled oat, fruits, vegetables, and the like. Bread should be soaked in water, then gently squeezed out before giving it to your pet.

Make sure your pet mouse has plenty of clean water and food available to it at all times.

To properly care for a pet mouse, you’ll need to place bedding in its cage. Bedding is normally hardwood shavings, shredded newspaper, or another like material. You can buy bags of bedding at your local pet store too.

Place your pet mouse’s home in a quiet area that’s free from drafts. Keep it safe from small children and other household pets. Your mouse will be the healthiest if it’s kept in a room that has a steady temperature of around 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, once you have your pet mouse settled in to its new home, you can make friends with it. To properly pick your mouse up, gently cup your hands around its body. Your pet mouse should enjoy sitting in your cupped hands. It will also have a good time investigating the world around it. But, beware! Your mouse is a quick little creature that can jump out of your hands and take off in the blink of an eye! So you’ll need to be especially careful not to let it escape when you have it outside of its cage, aquarium, or other housing.

You can give your mouse “toys” to play with and hide in. Two examples of these include cardboard rolls from toilet paper and small, cleaned out food containers.

To properly care for your pet mouse, you’ll need to keep its house clean. The bedding inside its cage or aquarium should be changed weekly. Once you remove the bedding, sipper bottle, food dish, and exercise wheel, you’ll need to wash the inside of its house with a sudsy mixture of hot water and dishwashing detergent. Rinse thoroughly with hot water, then allow it to air dry. Or, dry it out using paper towels.

Also, wash your mouse’s bowl, sipper bottle, and the other contents of its housing by using the same process. Never use bleach, ammonia, or any harsh type of household product to clean your mouse’s home and contents with.

With proper care, your pet mouse will live for two to three years. Mice don’t require regular visits to the veterinarian. You only need to take him or her to the vet if they show signs of illness. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, breathing heavily, not eating or drinking, or acting lethargic. If your pet mouse exhibits any of these, or any other unusual signs, then you should seek professional medical care for it immediately.

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