Dental Care for Pocket Pets

Rabbits and other pocket pets, such as Mice, Rats and Guinea Pigs are becoming increasingly popular as pets. They can be loving and cuddly critters but it’s important we make sure they are always in tip-top shape especially their teeth.

Just like cats and dogs, it’s important to take your beloved pocket pets to the vet for annual health checks.

Pocket pets are grazers and are known for eating all day long which is why their dental health is vital to their overall health.

Dental disease in pocket pets can be more subtle than dental disease in dogs and even cats and not many owners look inside their mouths allowing dental disease to go unnoticed for long periods of time.

Each one of these pocket pets have teeth that continuously grow which is why it’s important you give your pet enough fibre in their diet to ensure adequate chewing for regular molar wear.

Rabbits and Guinea pigs need a diet that is 80% hay and grass. Pellets that are offered should contain at least 20% fibre.
Adequate calcium is also important in their diet as a lack of it can lead to reduced mobility of the jaw.
Calcium is found in dark leafy vegetables, grass, hay and pellets designed for their species.

Providing things for them to chew on will also help wear down their teeth such as wooden chew blocks, chews from local pet shops, newspaper, compressed lucerne blocks and even sticks. Make sure that your little companion isn’t swallowing anything your offering them to chew on unless it’s edible.

Signs of dental disease

The signs of dental disease include; nasal discharge, inability to close the mouth, facial swelling and protruding front teeth. They often stop eating, stop grooming and may suffer from anorexia.

If you notice any of these signs you should take your pocket pet to a veterinarian to discuss treatment options for you.

An example of healthy guineas pig teeth