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June 11, 2010

Welcoming Your New Mouse

Mouse black and white close

iStockphoto

Here's how to make your mouse's transition to her new home as stress-free as possible.

Home at last

When you first bring your new mouse home, she's likely to feel stressed by the transition to an unfamiliar environment. She may be away from her littermates for the first time and will be inundated with strange sounds and smells.

You can ease your mouse's stress by following a few simple steps:

  • Set up your mouse's aquarium with appropriate accessories before you bring her home.
  • Use the same type of food, bedding, and nesting materials she's used to (unless they're inappropriate for mice) and introduce new products slowly.
  • Cover the aquarium with a light cloth for the first day or two to allow your mouse to explore her new home with greater privacy and fewer distractions.
  • Don't rush to handle your new mouse; provide fresh food and water every day, but give her a day or two to acclimate to her new home before you start petting her or picking her up.
  • Discourage friends and visitors from handling your new mouse during this adjustment period.
  • If you've acquired a new mouse as a companion for another or an addition to a group, you shouldn't introduce them right away; a two-week quarantine period is needed to ensure that your new mouse is healthy and won't transmit any diseases to your resident mice.
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