Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic of Roanoke

Paul Stewart, DVM

(540) 989-4464


Did you know...

  • In the wild, hamsters eat seeds, grasses, leaves and insects.
  • Did you know that it's possible to litter train a hamster?
  • Hamsters feed at night, but if you remove the food dish during the night hours, your hamster will quickly learn that it needs to stay awake during the day in order to feed.

New Owners Links:


  • Life expectancy: Mice and hamsters (1.5 years), Rats (2 years) Gerbils (3 years) Degus (7 years)
  • Since most rodents prefer seeds and nuts, be sure to feed a good quality pelleted diet or lab block appropriate for your species of rodent.
  • Rodents as pets are best housed singly to prevent territorial disputes. Provide a cage with good ventilation
  • $2 (feeder-grade mice) to $40 Degu
  • Do not hold rodents by the tail as it is painful. Gerbils can slip their tail skin leaving the bone and tendons exposed, requiring surgery.
  • Health tips: Avoid cedar and pine bedding as both can pose health risks to the respiratory tract and liver.
  • Always practice good hygiene to help minimize risk of contracting Zoonotic diseases such as Salmonella, tapeworms and ringworm.