How can I keep my eight-month-old rabbit Nigel warm this winter?
It’s important that Nigel has plenty of space to run, jump, play with toys and hop as exercise will keep him warm.
It’s great that Nigel’s hutch is already in the shed, this should be used as somewhere cosy to snuggle up with another neutered rabbit friend as they should always be kept in pairs at least.
The rest of the shed will be great as his everyday run in the colder months as long as it’s safe and clear of everyday ‘shed stuff’.
Line his run with plenty of fresh hay so he can nibble constantly.
Old carpet over his hutch is useful for insulation, as long as it doesn’t block the ventilation.
If it gets particularly cold, you could move Nigel’s hutch into the house, as long as you don’t have other pets.
Wherever the hutch is, natural light should always be available.
Finally, check his water bowls and bottles every day to make sure they aren’t frozen!
My guinea pig Pepper died a few months ago leaving his friend Salt depressed. We’ve bought Salt a new friend, Vinegar, and we pick him up next week. How should I introduce them?
You’ll need to take things slowly when introducing Salt and Vinegar.
Have two separate set ups for them at first. Start by swapping bedding and toys so they get used to each other’s scent before they meet face-to-face.
You can then try moving their enclosures and runs together so they can see and smell each other through the bars.
Keep a close eye on them in case they start to fight.
If they are showing positive behaviours for a few days, they should be ready for their first meeting.
It should be on ‘neutral ground’, somewhere outside the cage.
Fill the space with hay and some guinea pig safe vegetables and herbs and let them get used to each other while you keep watch.
Once comfortable in each other’s company, you can try moving them into the cage together.
I have two dogs, Odin was ill recently and was given steroids, which made him incontinent, but Zeus also started urinating around the house too. We took Zeus to the vet but there is nothing physically wrong with him. Why is he doing this?
Steroids should not cause incontinence for Odin but they can cause him to want to drink more, which can mean urinating more.
Dogs can be quite sensitive to change, for example, changes in routine or new smells, but they can also pick up on when others are unwell, so that may have unsettled Zeus too.
The changes in the household caused by Odin’s illness could have caused Zeus to begin marking, as a way of increasing his familiar smells around the house.
Discuss this problem with your vet, they may need to carry out further investigations, they may also suggest referring you to an accredited pet behaviourist.
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