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A relaxed visit to the vet with small animals
A visit to the vet can be a real challenge for rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

No worries: A relaxed visit to the vet with small animals 

In principle it is a matter of simple routine: feeling, listening and checking the eyes - that is it, really. However, a visit to the vet can be a real challenge for rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. The car ride, the strange smells and sounds, and finally all the unknown animals in the waiting room. Here the owner can help to calm the little pets because peace and quiet as well as cosy surroundings relax the little rodents.  

"As soon as pets are taken out of their usual surroundings, they feel stress," says Christine Wilde, author and editor-in-chief of the webpage www.nager-info.de. " Hamsters in particular can react with extreme nervousness when transported to the vet," the expert adds. Her recommendation: " Take the pet to the vet in its nest. That has a calming effect."   

With guinea pigs, rabbits and other small animals you cannot always see if they are afraid. It is best to transport them to the vet together with other pets from the same enclosure that the sick pet gets on with well. The sensitive pets feel better if they have companions.   For a transport to the vet, the transport box has to be as cosy as possible. The box should have sufficient room for the pet to lie and move about. "The pet should be acquainted with the box beforehand, e.g. you could place the box in the enclosure," the expert says. In the box, there should be a bit of litter, hay, fresh food as water supply and their usual feed. "Guinea pigs feel particularly safe in a cuddly bag," is the expert's tip. In addition to that, the box should be darkened a bit. "That calms the pets," says Wilde.

The expert also recommends not to wait in the waiting room with guinea pigs and other small animals. "Particularly guinea pigs are very sensitive to noise. Unknown and loud background noise stresses them. It is better to wait outside or in the car until it is your turn." After the treatment, the pet can be rewarded with some fresh food it likes or with a treat. 

Source: German Industrial Association for Pet Supplies IVH