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  1. #1

    New prairie dog owner - need tips

    Hello all, I recently homed a male Prairie dog from an exotic pet shop, hes about 7 months old, had him for a little over a month.

    Granted first 2 weeks were difficult with the nipping and attitude but he quickly turned around and is quite enjoyable now. He resides mostly in his large critter nation cage, custom PVC piping for tubes, about 5 inches of bedding in the bottom for him to play in, a wheel and a couple other things in his cage to keep him occupied while I am at work. He used to like to get out of his cage and I'd let him roam the house for an hour or two everyday to get extra exercise, play with the cats, enjoy free time ect.

    he's never had an issue biting anything he's not supposed to but as of the last two weeks when I let him out he always tries to go back in, and his energy seems to have went down a bit once he got accustomed to his new home. I know he's still young but my main question is, is there any behaviors I should look out for while hes growing up? Do I need to change his living environment often in his cage to give him something else to "build" every once in a while to keep him occupied, and when do they start to mature and if I should get him neutuered as I hear during mating season they can get pretty agitated. He has a good attitude, isn't overly vocal, seems really content but I've never had one as a pet - nor have I known anybody that has had one so this is all new to me.

    Any tips will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: New prairie dog owner - need tips

    A warm to the forum! I am sorry that you have not received any replies, but your choice of pet is quite rare and therefore the chances of anyone on this forum having any experience are fairly remote. Prairie dogs are more or less unknown outside of the USA and Canada. Further, keeping a prairie dog was only made legal again in 2008 in the USA, following an extensive ban. See

    Your prairie dog's behaviour may have changed because he is going into his rut period; this is described in the Wikipedia article above. Taking him to a vet who specialises in exotic pets should confirm his age and whether he is in his rut period. Do not trust pet shops when they tell you an estimated age! Pet shops exist for one reason: to make money! A vet's opinion should put you straight on the questions you pose and also a full health check is advisable, especially as the prairie dog may well have been extracted from a wild litter.

    Here are some other web pages which should help you:

    Do come back and let us know how you get on! Plus feel free to post some photos!
    Last edited by LPC; 10-25-2018 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3

    Re: New prairie dog owner - need tips

    Hi! Yes they are very uncommon at the moment, from recent research between the fall and spring is when they are in rut and neutering definitely helps. But they are very smart and remember close to everything, I feel if i get him neutered he may feel betrayed. The local pet shop I got him from specializes in sloths, kinkajous, and other rare exotic mammals and are very knowledgeable but every prairie dog is different. I will be sure to post some pictures as maybe somebody that comes across this thread may see it and want one. Regardless thanks for the information - my computer time is very limited due to being so busy at work so your links definitely save me some time. I will poke back again with some pictures and any other behavior for future references.




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