Out onto the balcony…
Warm spring weather doesn’t just entice us humans outside, the smaller members of our family also want to breathe the fresh air and sun themselves a bit. This we can allow them with a day trip on the balcony. The experts from Maxi Zoo explain how you can implement this.
Balconies or terraces can be easily transformed into a pet’s paradise. The best ones are those with a continuous parapet and no gaps between the floor and the parapet. If your balcony does not fulfil this criterion then the gaps must be secured with boards or rabbit wire. Acan fit through the smallest hole! If your balcony is tiled simply spread some straw over it and sweep it up afterwards. If you have a carpet you can lay down newspaper or at least just under the guinea pigs house. If you have a rabbit that uses its own toilet, place this is a protected corner of the balcony.
Rabbits and guinea pigs
The most important thing for wary animals is their house. They need it as a quiet place and as a “base” from where they will begin their tour. A few balls of newspaper can provide great fun in the holiday park as can upturned cardboard boxes punched with holes and pieces of bark or plastic tubes that are too big for the hutch. The animals will also having fun finding treats hidden outside. But don’t forget to give them hay as well and leave the table and chairs where they are as they can offer protection.
Hamsters, degus and chinchillas
These escape artists should not be allowed to run free. If you want to keep your nocturnal hamster outside during the day you can build him a balcony pen or buy one in a specialist store. Degus require a stable, escape-proof enclosure as they are excellent climbers. Chinchillas are not fans of short term changes and a balcony holiday is not suitable for them.
Ferrets are clever and inquisitive. It’s best not to leave them unattended on the balcony for too long and they should have the security of a cat net. Ferrets will enjoy playing with hammocks, houses, ladders or even a cats scratching post which they can climb around on. Enjoy playing with your pets and intervene quickly if they look likely to escape or are contemplating any other stupid ideas.
No animal should be left in the sun without protection as they run the risk of heatstroke! Make sure that some of the balcony is shaded when you allow your pets to take a “holiday” there. If necessary use a parasol or erect a gazebo. The animal houses can also warm up quickly if left in direct sunlight. The little holidaymakers should always have drinking water available to them and poisonous materials such as plastics and floor coverings as well as plants should be removed from the balcony. Make sure that no birds of prey or your cat or dog come near the small animals. At dusk, when it is cooler and damper it is time to go home!
Call into your local store today to discuss your small animals personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts