One of the most basic supplies for most new pets is a cage. Whether your new pet is a dog, bird, hamster, or rabbit, an enclosed space can give them a safe, comfortable place in which to rest or play. Choosing the right cage for each animal requires that you understand the unique needs of your pet.
Dog cages come in extra large, large, medium, and small sizes. The ideal cage should give the dog just enough room to stretch out and sit up. Overly large enclosures may lead to the dog soiling the crate. For a more exact measurement, choose a cage that is six inches higher and wider than your animal, or consult one of several sizing charts that list the breeds for each standard size crate.
The most important aspect of bird cage size is the bar spacing, which needs to be narrow enough to prevent the bird from escaping. The cage also needs to be large enough to accommodate toys and other items that will make the cage comfortable. In addition, choosing a bird cage involves considering the bird's personality. For instance, active birds need larger cages with play bars, while smart birds need special locks to keep them inside. You should also avoid complicated curves and hooks which can harm birds, as well as painted finishes, which can make them sick.
Larger is better when it comes to rabbit cages. Indoor cages should be at least four feet long, while outdoor hutches should be even larger, to give the rabbit enough space to move about and have separate eating and sleeping areas. Other features to look for are multiple wide openings to make it easier to take the rabbit in and out and conduct cage cleaning, as well as deep trays, and solid, not wire, floors to protect the rabbit from injuring its feet.
As with bird cages, the most important aspect of hamster cages is that the bar spacing be narrow enough to prevent the hamster from escaping, particularly if you own a dwarf hamster. You should also choose a deep tray that leaves enough room for ample bedding. The type of hamster you own will also affect the features of the cage you purchase. For instance, Syrian hamsters need smaller cages to keep them from becoming possessive over certain areas of the cage.
Ensuring that a rat cage has enough space is an important aspect of choosing the right cage. Each rat should have at least 2.5 cubic feet of space. In addition, ease of cleaning is important when considering a cage. Powder coated cages tend to be easier to clean, as do cages with removable trays and large doors that give you enough room to get your arm inside to wash it down. Finally, you should ensure that the bars are close enough together to prevent escape.