S&S Exotic Animals,inc.

Prairie Dog Care Sheet

Prairie Dog Care Sheet


  Found in the grass prairies of Mexico, Canada and central United States.


  A prairie dog is a variety of a ground squirrel. Most prairie dogs are the black-tail variety. A prairie dog is diurnal meaning it is active during the daylight hours. Prairie dogs are very social animals. They are very loyal and expressive. Prairie dogs are extremely hardy and healthy and can live up to 12 years in captivity.


  Prairie dogs feed on hay, rodent block and fresh fruits and vegetables. Any hay will do just fine but do not use alfalfa hay except as a treat. Fresh corn on the cob is a favorite with prairie dogs. Collard greens, carrots, green beans, plums and potatoes are also recommended. Do not give prairie dogs any green part of a potato because it is toxic to them. Nuts, dry dog food, crackers and parrot mix may be used for treats. They also like prickly pear cactus. Try to offer a variety of items since all prairie dogs don't have the same preferences. A good treat for a prairie dog's teeth is dried corn on the cob, hard beef bones or dried pig ears. A prairie dog should not weigh over 4 pounds. Prairie dogs love to eat but if prairie dogs are overfed, they may get sick and die. Provide water in a water bottle.


  The best cage for a prairie dog is a multi-level ferret cage. The multi-level ferret cage is closest to a burrow and gives the prairie dog adequate room to move around and stand up. Prairie dogs may be moved between different cages to keep them from becoming bored. The cage tray bottom may be lined with pine shavings or aspen bedding to absorb moisture. Hay and bedding material may be added for them to weave a nest with.


  When you first bring your prairie dog home, hold it even if it protests. You may use gloves if necessary and must not let the prairie dog loose. If the prairie dog bites, discipline it. Never let it jump out of the cage when you open the door. You must always have it jump or walk into your arms and then you may put it down. A prairie dog must be taught that you are the boss. You must not give an inch with them while they are pups. Once a prairie dog has bonded with you, it will love you like its own family. A prairie dog has a variety of vocal signals and body which you must learn to recognize and respect.

Compliments of:
S & S Exotic Animals, Inc.,  1711 Connorvale,  Houston, TX 77039  (281) 590-0426


About Us | Contact Us | Copyright © 2009-  S&S Exotic Animals, Inc.