Pocket Pets' Enrichment Ideas

Education Schools Posted Apr 14, 2020
From guinea pigs to mice and many other pint-sized rodents, pocket pets require a lot of enrichment in their life.

Although small, pocket pets require a lot of love and will most likely instantly melt your heart from the moment you lay eyes on them. Entertaining toys and treats can help keep their minds and bodies active. Being the itty bitty explorers that they are, pocket pets will love adventuring through tunnels, or foraging for treats.

The common toilet paper roll and some smart engineering on the owner’s side can turn a simple, everyday item into countless hours of fun for your pocket pet. Entertaining your pocket pet doesn’t have to be expensive, and these DIY enrichment toys can be made from materials already lying around the house!

Treat Ball

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Treats

What to do:

  1. Cut a toilet paper roll into rings. The rings should be even in size, and 2.5cm – 3cm wide, however thinner rings will be easier to work with.
  2. Begin to place the rings inside each other, forming a criss-cross pattern. Keep layering until there are only small gaps between rings. This should make a ball-shape.
  3. Place treats inside the ball, and watch your pet try to retrieve them!

Treat Pocket

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Treats

What to do:

  1. Fold in the sides of a toilet paper roll on one end. You should be left with a crescent-moon, or ‘C’ shape on one end.
  2. Place treats inside, and repeat on the opposite end to create a sealed tube.
  3. Wrap string length-ways around the tube, to add an extra layer of difficulty. This step is optional, and would be suited to larger pets, such as rabbits.

Mouse Tunnel

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • Pet-safe tape (brown tape or masking tape)
  • Hot glue and glue sticks
  • Natural jute or sisal string

What to do:

  1. On a flat surface, line up multiple toilet paper rolls (or paper-towel rolls) in a straight line.
  2. Apply strips of pet-safe tape vertically, connecting the ends of one roll to another. We used 3-4 pieces of tape per connection.
  3. Starting at one end of the tube, apply a dab of hot glue, press on the rope, and hold it in place for a few seconds while it dries. Work your way up the cylinder, applying hot glue, and then the rope.
  4. Allow the glue to dry overnight

This tunnel can be replicated with larger cardboard cylinders, such as empty food packaging or containers, for pets who won’t fit through the rolls above.

Small animal pets need exercise, mental stimulation, environmental enrichment, and the ability to express normal behaviours, just like cats or dogs. Although small, pocket pets need plenty of space to run about and play, and to express their normal behaviours like running, exploring, playing, stretching, foraging, gnawing, and jumping.

Make their environment interesting with different levels and areas to explore. You can use things like ramps and boxes, or even make a ‘forest’ out of fleece strips tied to the roof of their enclosure, so the strips dangle down and your pets such as guinea pigs can push and run through their fleece forest!

Explore RSPCA World for Pet’s range of Pocket Pet toys here.

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