Bringing your new pets home can be really exciting for owners, but a little stressful for the pets. Preparation is key to making the journey run as smoothly as possible. Below are some ways to minimise the unpleasantness for your new friends.
There are lots of things you'll need to prepare when you're about to bring your new pets home
- Have the cage prepared in advance
Your little gerbils will have had quite a stressful time, so when they finally get through your door it’s best to quickly transfer them into their new home and let them get settled. To achieve this, you’ll need to have set up their cage before they arrive, and have filled it with all they need - bedding, food, a wheel and water.
- Have a carry case ready
Gerbils are notorious escape artists - they can chew their way out of cardboard boxes in next to no time. The organisation from which you’re getting your gerbils might have a carry case you can borrow, but if they don’t offer these then it’s a good idea to purchase one before you get there.
The carry case will need to be full of bedding, and be stocked with food and water for the trip home. If you’re driving to pick up your new pets, make sure that the carry case is fixed securely in your car - if it isn’t, it can slide across boots and seats, which is dangerous for the pets inside. One solution is to strap the case in with a seat belt, and add pillows round the sides to make sure that it can’t move. Another possible method is to bring someone along for the ride who can keep the box still on their lap.
- Plan the route carefully
Cars, especially hot cars, aren’t very nice environments for gerbils. The noises, the smells and the pollution are all unpleasant experiences for these little creatures, so it’s important that you keep their time in these vehicles to a minimum. Plan your return route carefully, and avoid stopping on the way back unless it’s necessary.
- Let your pets settle in
Most experts advise that you don’t remove your gerbils from their enclosure for the first week. This gives them some time to get accustomed to their surroundings and become a little more comfortable in their new enclosure.
Although it’s unbelievably tempting to sit and watch your pets, and to bring them out and play with them, it’s best to avoid doing both of those things for the time being - your pets won’t thank you for it. They will already be quite worried and being taken out of their enclosure will add another level of stress to an already tricky few days.