Read our Christmas house party advice for owners of small furry pets

House parties can be a lot of fun, especially around Christmas and New Year; but are they fun for your small pets? What the team at Northlands Veterinary Group can tell you, from their many years in small animal care, is that most small pets will fare better if they are kept well away from large gatherings at home.

Started the celebrations early? If you notice any unusual behaviours in your small pets, it would be wise to get them checked out by one of our experienced Vets.

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Small furry pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rats, and chinchillas, generally scare easily and dislike loud noises or changes to their routine.

So, what should you do if you want to have people over during the holiday season?

First, establish if your pets, which are typically kept in pairs, are nocturnal or diurnal...

Hamsters, rats, and chinchillas are nocturnal (active at night); guinea pigs and gerbils are diurnal (active in the day) but are most active at dusk & dawn. This is important so you know when to implement the below advice in time for your party:

  • Allow your small pets to sleep as normal by moving their housing to an area in your home (or preferably someone else’s) that is well away from the noise of your gathering. Try not to disturb their regular sleep pattern as this can throw them out of sorts. Putting a breathable cover over your pets’ cage or hutch may help to drown out some of the noise.

  • Don’t bring the party to your pets as seeing lots of people could frighten your pets. Plus, your guests may open your pets’ cage to play with them, resulting in injury (to pets or guests) or escape.

  • Keep to your pets’ usual food times even if that means nipping upstairs while your guests are there. Minimising changes to your pets’ routine is important to keep them happy & well.

  • Make or buy some small furry pet toys so they have something to occupy themselves with if they're awake. Foraging trays are a great idea to keep your pets busy; all you need is a tray, some hay, pet-safe herbs, and their favourite treats, hours of fun!

All of us at Northlands wish you a wonderful time over the holiday season. We want your small furry pets to have a good time too, so do try to follow the above advice and contact us if you notice any problems with your pets.

Contact us if your pets are acting strange

Read our Christmas house party advice for owners of small furry pets