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Prairie Dogs are special and so are the people who love them. Indeed life with a prairie dog becomes a mutual addiction. Of all the exotic animals currently kept as pets worldwide, the prairie dog is one of the ultimate companions. A lost prairie dog does not “revert to the wild” as do so many exotic pets. Instead it will search for its owner or beg for help from the first human it meets. If it encounters his former owner years later, its happiness knows no bounds. - Lynda Watson

What is a Prairie Dog?

Prairie Dogs are small rodents that are native to parts of the United States. They are diurnal (awake during the day) and live in very large colonies. Even in the wild a prairie dog will spend much of its youth playing with others as a social bonding technique.

General Personality

PDs can be affectionate and loving pets if cared for properly and acquired at the right age. Hand feedings and daily handling is crucial in the first few weeks after you receive them to ensure proper bonding. It is relatively easy to bond with a new baby but is very challenging if you receive an older adult who is not bonded to you. Each PD can have their own personality but generally they are attention seekers and affectionate with their humans.

"PDs are so intelligent that behavioralists have yet to devise tests to determine just how brigh tthey are. Your pet will come when called and will understand many words and phrases. PDs frequently live ten to twelve years in capitivity and they bond to theirs owners so strongly that they will love you above life itself. A PD will fling itself on a pitbull in your defense. " Bringing a Prairie Dog Pup into Your Home, 2001

Do they bite?
My answer to this question is simple, anything with teeth can bite. A prairie dog pup handled from a young age and generally domesticated and treated as a pet more than likely will not bite. I would rate PDs as 90% bite free.
Prairie dogs must be spayed or neutered prior to the age of 9 months to avoid going into sexual maturity and becoming violent. Unaltered PD's can unexpectedly and without warning attack their owners and strangers. If you are considering owning a PD you must find a vet who is capable of spaying/neutering before you get a baby.

Costs for a Prairie Dog:

Spay or neuter.$50-$200
*Bringing a Prairie Dog Pup into your Home Book ...$30
Baby Formula ingredients………………$12
Wire cage and accessories…………$45-$250 (www.martinscages.com)
*Bag of food………………………….…...$15
Solid (not wire) wheel…………….………$12
Bonding pouches…………………….…..$8
Misc. toys & accessories……………….…..$15
*Items available in our Pet Products Page

Preparing for a Prairie Dog

Before you bring your PD home, you should have its habitat ready, you should also baby proof your house if you plan on letting them have free range at times. They will chew on electrical wire, please keep them away from these. Make the bathroom off limits to your PD, you will thank me for not having to clean up an entire roll of toilet paper or saving your baby from drowning in the toilet.

When you first bring your baby home, house them in a 15 gallon aquarium or plastic tote with a vented lid. Use your old cotton t-shorts as the bedding with some grassy hay. Feed them timothy hay, PD pellets, dry puppy kibble and formula with a syringe.

Source: www.jandaexotics.com

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