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Fast, Fun, Facts on Rabbits

• When a rabbit is really, really happy it will jump
  straight up in the air and do a quick twist, or it will
  lay down, or “hop” to one side.
• Rabbits have a digestive system similar to horses.
• Rabbits can learn to respond to their names.
• When angry or scared, rabbits will thump their hind
  legs on the floor or stand on their hind legs and
  ‘box’ you with their front legs.

What You Need Before You Get a Rabbit as a Pet
                        • a cage that is twice the length of your rabbit when it is
                           lying down, stretched out,
                        • litter box with recycled newspaper litter,
                        • large water bottle that hangs on the side of the cage.
                        • ceramic food bowl or a hard plastic bowl that attaches
                           to the side of the cage,
•   rabbit pellets,
•   timothy or alfalfa Hay
•   brush for grooming
•   nail clippers
•   toys, (cardboard boxes or tubes, shredded paper,
    untreated wooden bird toys or special wooden sticks for

Fast, Fun Hamster Facts
• There are 18 species of hamsters. The most common
species kept as a pet is the Syrian, or Golden, hamster
(Teddybear is a breed of Golden hamster).
• Hamsters like to live alone. They can sometimes live
together, but must be given enough space. If they begin to
fight, they should be separated.
• Hamsters are nocturnal, which means they are awake at
night and sleep in the day.
• Hamsters like to hide their food, so it is important to clean
the cage regularly to prevent rotting.
• The leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous to hamsters.

                                                                          Golden Hamster

                                  What You Need Before You Get a Hamster as a
                                  • terrarium or cage. Cages are great for medium-sized
                                   hamsters who love to climb the bars. The cage should include
                                   a hiding space where the hamster can rest during the day. It
                                   is best to place the hamster’s cage about two feet off the
         Syrian Hamster            ground, (this will keep them out of cold drafts and give them a
                                   nice view of their surroundings).
• bedding of shavings, or recycled newspaper.
• timothy hay — it helps the digestive system, and can also be used for nesting.
• dry rodent food available at most pet stores, (i.e. pellets, seeds, nuts). Certain fruits and
vegetables make a nice treat, (give small amounts).
• water bottle.
• something to chew on, such as wood or
cardboard. Caution: conifer wood contains
resin, which is poisonous to hamsters.
• hamster wheel or hamster ball will provide
entertainment and exercise. Balls should
only be used for short periods of time; be
                              sure to
                              supervise. Put
                              some vegetable
                              oil on a
                              hamster’s wheel
                              to stop it from

                                      Guinea Pigs
Fast, Fun Facts about Guinea Pigs
• Guinea pigs were originally
  bred for food by Andean
• They are related to porcupines
  and chinchillas.
• Guinea pigs engage in
  stampeding — if scared they
  may run around in circles until
  they are exhausted. Some
  guinea pigs may get trampled
  in a stampede, which is why
  rectangular cages are recommended.
• Another name for a guinea pig is ‘cavy’.
What You Need before You Get a Guinea Pig for a Pet
                                 • A large tiered cage made of plastic or metal —
                                 must not have a wire bottom as feet can get caught.
                                 • Hiding place (plastic igloo, towels to burrow in),
                                 • Water bottle that hangs on the side of the cage.
                                 • Food dish (heavy so that it will be hard to tip over)
                                 • Hay rack with timothy/alfalfa hay,
                                 • Bedding made of shredded newspaper, aspen
  shavings, or timothy hay.
• Wooden chew sticks made for guinea pigs.
• food rich in vitamin C. Guinea pig’s bodies cannot make or store vitamin C, so
  it is important to give it to your guinea pig every day, either from high-quality
  guinea pig food, or certain vegetables, (but not carrots or lettuce). Putting
  vitamin drops in water can also be used.

      Guinea pigs are social critters and like to live with at least one other guinea pig!

Fast, Fun Rat Facts
• Many people are afraid of rats, but they can
    make great pets. Rats are intelligent, friendly,
    and easy to care for.
• Rats have red tears, which may look like
• Rats cannot vomit — when given rat poison
    they cannot throw it up and the poison stays in their system until it kills them.
• Rats often escape from their cages but usually return on their own.

What You need before you get a rat for a pet
•   Wire or plastic cage (look for a special rat mesh to prevent escape and injuries).
•   pine shavings, paper, or aspen bedding.
•   Water bottle.
•   Food dish.
•   Rat chow with 20 — 27% amount of protein.
    Make sure the food is for rats and not mixed with
    leftover food for other small animals.
• Treats, (vegetables and fruits or store-bought),
    but don't give too many!
• Fun rat toys — hiding places, multi-level climbing
    structures and mazes.
                                      • Something
                                      to chew on,
                                      such as wood
                                      or cardboard.
                                      • Room with a
                                      temperature —
                                      between 18°C
                                      and 26°C.

          Like guinea pigs, rats are social critters and like to live with at least one other rat!

Fast, Fun Budgie Facts

           • Budgies are the most popular pet
             bird in the world.
           • Most budgies can easily learn to
             speak up to 20 words. The record
             is held by a bird who knew 1000
           • Budgies lay between 3 and 10
             eggs at a time. The eggs take 18
             days to hatch.
           • Budgies belong to the parakeet
What You Need Before You Get a
Budgie For a Pet
• A large cage. Budgies love to climb, so make
  sure the cage has horizontal bars that are not
  too far apart. The cage should have a door
  that cannot be opened easily: budgies are
  clever and may learn to let themselves out!
• Perches should be at different levels in the cage. Wood perches are best.
• Food: budgie seed mixed with bird gravel, purchased at the pet store which helps
                                   your budgie digest its food. Some seeds will still
                                   be inside the husk, (hard, outer part of the seed).
                                   The budgie will eat the kernel, (inner part), and
                                   leave the husk. You will need to remove old
                                   husks daily.
                                   • Food and water dishes— use the kind that
                                   attach to the side of the cage.
                                   • Toys — a budgie will be bored without toys.
                                   Look for colourful toys with bells and mirrors.
                                   Budgies should also have toys for pecking and
                                   clawing at, to keep their beak and claws from
                                   growing too long. A ‘Cuttle Bone’ will be a toy but
                                   also helps keep their beaks in good condition
                                   and provide needed calcium. Other good toys
                                   are ladders and swings.
                                   • Commitment—budgies can live as long as 13
                           More Fast, Fun Facts
• Degus are Native to Chile. They were
brought to Europe and North America for
laboratory tests for diabetes. They were used
because they lack the ability to digest sugar.
Degus can often get diabetes, especially when
not fed properly. If a degu drinks a lot of water
and urinates more than usual, it may have
• Degus can lose the ends of their tails (as defence against predators).
• The tail will not grow back, so you should be careful not to pull on the tail.
                       • Ferrets sleep 18 - 20 hours a day,
                       with 2- 4 hours of intense activity.
                       • Ferrets can fit in small spaces and
                       are sometimes used to run wires
                       through buildings.

                       • Mice who live alone are more
                       aggressive than mice who live in
groups of 2 - 6.
• Mice in a group can groom each other to the point of
                                       • Chinchillas are
                                       endangered; there are very few left in the wild.
                                       But many chinchillas are kept as pets!
                                       • In the wild, chinchillas live in groups of up to
                                       100 individuals.
                                       • Chinchillas keep clean by having dust
                                       baths. They need to be given a bowl of special
                                       Chinchilla Dust at least twice a week.
                   Small Animal Challenge
 G    X    U   D    E   G   U    A    N     B   T       I   U   K   C
 N     J   R   V    E   T   C    L    U     B   O       E   H   Y   R
 D    R    Q   C    H   I   N    C    H     I   L       L   A   P   A
 I    M    A   P    M   O    Z   A    G     E   B       R   M   U   B
 F    O    E   B    W   F   P    V    M     O   U       E   S   D   I
 L    U    V   L    B   T   R    Y    Q     U   D       R   T   W   T
 Y    S    G   U    N   I   E    A    P     I   G       C   E   R   M
 A    E    B   L    F   S    T   T    N     H    I      J   R   O   J
 T    V    O   Z    H   E   D    O    G     U   E       D   Y   A   L
 I    K    D   F    E   R   R    E     T    M   A       X   C   S   T

Find the words on the left side in the word
search, and match them up with the correct
phrase on the right side. The words may go
down, across, or diagonally.

Rabbit                      Can go blind from too much grooming
Hamster                     Can learn up to 20 words
Guinea Pig                  Can lose part of its tail
Rat                         Enjoys dust baths
Budgie                      Has red tears
Degu                        Is nocturnal
Ferret                      Needs food rich in vitamin C
Mouse                       Sleeps 18 - 20 hours a day
Chinchilla                  Uses a litter box

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