Housing for a Prairie Dog

Prairie Dogs: One of the most social, playful, and active animals on this list, Prairie Dogs can make incredibly fun pets for you home.  If trained very young to be around humans, these furry creatures become affectionate and very caring to their owners.

prairie-dogs

freeimages.com/ Torli Roberts

Before bringing home a prairie dog, you should make sure you have a suitable, safe enclosure for your pet. You will also need to consider how you can meet your pet’s exercise and socialization needs.

A proper enclosure for prairie dogs should be spacious and secure.

The next factor that you should consider is the type of cage that you will have the prairie dog in. Although these are small pets, they require a lot of space in order to stay happy and healthy.

Housing for prairie dogs should be well-secured because their natural curiosity and chewing behavior will likely expose them to a number of household dangers such as toxic chemicals, poisonous household plants, or electrical cords. Animals kept as pets should be provided with a large enough space and materials for burrowing. Hay or wood shavings deep enough to allow your pet to burrow work well.

Housing

Nest boxes can be used to simulate the natural burrow environment. Large plastic rodent cages placed inside a larger container can help prevent bedding from spreading around when your pet digs or burrows. A large rock helps maintain a prairie dog’s nails, and nonpoisonous dried tree branches or chew toys allow the gnawing action required to maintain appropriate tooth length.

Prairie dogs do best in a cool, dry environment and should be kept at temperatures of 69 to 72°F (20 to 22°C) and relative humidity of 30 to 70%. Bedding materials should be replaced regularly, and enclosures cleaned and sanitized weekly to prevent disease.

Exercise

Providing a housing enclosure that is large enough for the prairie dog to move around and play, as well as materials for burrowing, allows your pet the exercise required to help it stay healthy and fend off boredom. Adding chew toys and tubing (to simulate tunnels) can help keep your pet active and curious.

Temperament

Prairie dogs can be very friendly and sociable with their owners; however, they can become stressed and may bite anyone to whom they have not bonded. Because prairie dogs are sociable animals, they require attention from and interaction with their owners. Otherwise, your prairie dog can become irritable and aggressive during breeding season.

You should also take time daily to play with and hold your prairie dog. When they are raised with you, they will want that emotional bonding time. If they don’t spend enough time with your bonding, they could become depressed and even sick.