FAQ-Small Animals

Small Animal Habitat Setup

Small animals need to be kept in a safe and secure environment. They should have access to food, water and a hiding spot to feel safe in. Bedding requirements depend on the animal. To get the best advice on setting up a small animal habitat call us at 708-293-0600.

    1. Cage or Tank with cover (as required) A wire cage or aquarium sized to your pet

    2. Bedding – pine or cedar shavings, bark, coco fiber, sand or other type depending on the species
    3. Water – a water bottle or open dish depending on the species or animals requirements
    4. Food - depending on the species
    5. Toys – chew toys are important for many small animals to keep teeth in good health. Play toys for your ferret keeps them occupied.
Shelters – can be as simple as a clean cardboard box for them to hide and rest or a chewable hiding spot for gerbils, hamsters, etc.

Food (species dependent)

Most common small animals are herbivores. If you are interested in raising a ferret, for example, you will need to adjust their diet accordingly.
Supplements are required to maintain the health and well being of the animal. In the wild they eat a wide variety of foods and get the necessary vitamins and minerals from the food they consume. We recommend supplementing your pet’s diet with vitamins and supplements.

Dry Food – pellet type
 (species dependent)
Fresh vegetables, some fruits and nuts (raw or unprocessed are best), seeds and many other food items. Timothy hay or alfalfa for small pets that need grasses in their diet.

How long will my small animal live?

On average small animals will live:
Gerbil: 2 to 3 years
Hamsters: 1 ½ to 5 years depending on type and breed
Guinea Pigs:  5 years
Rabbits: 7 to 10 years
Chinchilla: up to 12 years
Mice: 2 years
Rats: 2 years
Ferrets: up to 10 years

Is a ferret the right pet for me?

Before getting a ferret, research the animal: Talk to people who own them and read a variety of books about them. Ferrets are not "just like cats" and have many special needs which are not obvious to a first-time owner. For example, a ferret's high metabolism and frenetic energy makes him prone to sudden illnesses and accidents. You must have a knowledgeable vet and a reserve fund for emergency veterinary fees of at least $500 for such possibilities as, when seriously sick or injured. The ferret doesn't have the luxury of waiting a day for a vet's office to open, you may need to take them to a veterinary emergency clinic.  Ferrets also often suffer from broken fangs as a result of their intensive play and their teeth need to be fixed or the animal will be in pain.

Will my ferret need to be vaccinated?

Please consult and ask your veterinarian. They will be able to advise you on the proper vaccinations required.  Also protect your pet and yourself by getting a ferret, or any other pet, from a pet store that provides animals which are neutered or spayed and vaccinated and provide them with proper enviroment and veterinary care while in the stores care. Consult with your veterinarian before you get your ferret to make sure he or she knows about them.

What do I feed my ferret?

Ferrets must be fed a high quality, dry ferret or kitten food. They enjoy fruit or sweet vegetables as treats. Dairy products, grains and breads, nuts, or similar items must be avoided.

Will my kitten need shots?

Yes, ask your veterinarian. The veterinarian will advise you on the proper shots and vaccines required by the State or City animal health departments.

Call Today!

Animal Island Pets
14411 S Cicero Av.
Midlothian IL 60445

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Store Hours:
Mon - Fri 10am to 7pm
Sat & Sun 10am to 6pm
Call for Holiday hours 708-293-0600


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