THE ISSUE OF ODOR
IS ADDING SCENT TO SMALL ANIMAL BEDDING A GOOD IDEA?
“Consumers prefer no scent in their pets’ bedding, as it only temporarily hides odors,” said Lisa Kniceley, marketing and trade
sales specialist for Vitakraft Sunseed in Bowling Green, Ohio, who noted that the company makes a bedding product designed
to block odor instead of masking it.
Kayla Welling, general manager of Arizona Feeds Country Store in Tucson, Ariz., said added scent is not important in small
“It comes down to keeping a clean environment for your critter,” she said. “You can’t hide odors very well, and you
shouldn’t. You should keep it as clean as possible.”
Another reason not to add scent to bedding is that rodents use their own scent as part of the nesting process, said Brian
Wood, president of FiberCore in Cleveland.
“The critters have imprinted their scent on the bedding and nesting material,” he said. “One way you can reduce the stress
of cage litter changes is to return part of the nest to the cage. This will instill familiarity and reduce stress, and reduce aggression if the cage houses more than one critter.”
UPDATED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR FEEDER
RODENTS AVAILABLE FROM PIJAC
Those in the pet industry have a responsibility to ensure that the animals in their care are treated with kindness and respect, and that pets
do not cause environmental or human health problems, according to
the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC).
The feeder rodent industry is in the business of growing and
providing rats and mice as a responsibly raised and nutritious
food source for many pet animals, such as ball pythons and other
reptiles. Unlike other rodents, rats and mice are not governed by
the Animal Welfare Act (USDA 2013) and thus are not subject to
federal regulations on caging, transportation and handling, PIJAC
To create comprehensive professional husbandry standards for the
care and housing of feeder rodents, best management practices were
developed in conjunction with PIJAC’s Herp Subcommittee and Scott
Hardin, PIJAC’s science advisor on exotic and invasive species. The
group sought advice from and techniques used by accomplished rodent breeders, veterinarians and public health organizations across the
U.S. to develop these guidelines.
The most recent update, which addresses general husbandry matters (such as enclosures, buildings, sanitation, nutrition and disease
prevention), as well as transportation, euthanasia and the critical issue
of timely response to a zoonotic outbreak, is available for download
OXBOW ANIMAL HEALTH OFFERS
NEW PET CARE GUIDES
Murdock, Neb.-based Oxbow Animal Health unveiled new species-specific pet care guides, available
free for download and print and designed to help new
pet owners learn everything they need to provide basic care for their pets.
Key pet care topics covered in the care guides include nutrition, housing, care, health and supplies.
Rabbit-, guinea pig-, chinchilla-, rat-, hamster- and
gerbil-specific care guides can be found at oxbow
“We feel it’s very important to provide education-
al guidance and support to all pet parents, including
those who may be welcoming a new pet into their
lives for the first time,” said Melissa Ross, director of
marketing and education at Oxbow. “Our care guides
are a great basic resource to help make this exciting
time safe, successful, and enriching for both pet and
Printed versions of the new care guides are avail-
able to Oxbow’s retail partners for in-store distribu-
tion to customers. To request copies, retailers should
contact their Oxbow sales representative.