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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2004, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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Question New PD owner.. need some help please

Hello.. yesterday I was given a pair that my friend had to part with. One thing i noticed immediatly is that the male is looking rather skinny (i can feel his ribs and see his hips). I'm not sure if he is sick, depressed or just wasn't eating enough. My question is how would you recommend that I fatten the little guy up a bit? He's just as active as his pudgier counterpart.

They have been kept in a 70Gallon aquarium for the last year, and weren't interacted with as much as they should have been. The male's temperment is awesome, he's inquisitive and is eager to get pet and scratched.. the female is more wary of people. She is interested in me, but will barely tolerate me peting her inside the cage. If I take her out, she freaks out. Is there a chance that with gentle petting and time she'll come around and be more interested in me and less afraid?

I currently have them in a large cage (nearly 4' x18''x18'') on a deep layer of pine shavings. they have some wooden toys and a nice little wooden hide.

Tomorrow I will be picking up some proper PD food, but until then, i've given them a few pieces of Mazuri 6F rodent blocks ( and some lettuce. The male seemed to devour them.

Many thanks for your help,

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2004, 04:38 PM
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Their diet should consist mostly of Timothy hay and water. You can give them treats such as unsweetened shredded wheat, small pieces of sweet potato, apples, carrots....but those should be given sparingly.

How old are they? Is the cage that you put them in wire? They should never be kept in an aquarium.

Take it slow with the female. Try giving her a shredded wheat and gently petting her. Keep slowly working with her to gain her trust before you try to remove her from the cage again.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2004, 11:46 AM
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When I first got my three they were already 6 months old and had very little human interaction. They were all very fat and were very wary of humans. I came here to pet talk and got some really great advice from the kind folks here. Don't know what I would have done without the help of everyone here.

My PDs are around a year old now and I have two who are still afraid of humans. They both interact with myself and my fiance fine, but with anyone else they freak out. One will bite anyone they dont' know or like, the other one hides and if being held will scratch you to pieces. Treats really helped to get mine comfortable with me.

Originally they were in a wire cage that had a plastic ledge placed above their little house. They all loved to get on there for petting through the bars. It took a little while for them to allow me to take them out of the cage for petting, but so long as they were inside they were fine. Once they would let me take them out of their cage I'd let them play on the floor. At first they wouldn't want to come around me, but later after they learned they could get a treat from me they would crawl up in my lap to be loved on. They eventually started playing with me as if I were a prairie dog. They also really loved climbing up and into the hood of my hoodies. I always wore hoodies because they are thick and the prairie dog nails are sharp!

Some prairie dogs get angry when it's time to be put up and will bite or scratch. In such cases, place them in an empty trash can or the likes for 5-10 minutes as a time out. They'll stop acting up pretty quickly. I think I've only had to place mine in time out twice and they were really really bad about biting.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Their is a vegetarian dog food called Nature's Recipe that I give my pd's as a treat
because it's a little on the fatty side for food but it has a lot of minerals in it.
for more info on this you can go to to find out where you can buy it?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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No mammals should be kept in aquariums, the glass traps the heat and its too warm for them, it can make them sick. Pine shavings are good, never use cedar. I dont know how many people know that, but cedars seriously can cause brain malfunctioning in rodents. It happened with my guinea pig, so all the vets i have spoken with reccomend regular pine that isn't too dusty, its not good for their respiration. The treats I give my baby girl are mostly carrots, which she just loves, and dried fruits. Nuts I'm told aren't too good for them, particularly peanuts, becaues they fatten up to obesity levels.

I got my prairie dog from a pet shop that takes very good care of their animals, but she wasnt held much because the owner didn't want her to become attached to the staff. So when I got her at three months, she was wild and petrified of people. I started out petting her in her cage and finding her special spot-- behind her ears and her belly. I took her out of her cage everyday even if she fought, just for a little while, to get her used to my hand and my scent. When she gets upset i put her back though. After awhile i could coax her out of her cage with treats, and now she comes when she is called. You just have to be very, very patient, and try not to get angry or frustrated.
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dog food, dried fruit, dried fruits, guinea pig, pet shop, pine shavings, prairie dog, prairie dogs, shredded wheat, timothy hay, wire cage

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