Keeping small animals happy and healthy at the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society!

Small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters thrive on enrichment, just like larger animals. At the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, we understand the importance of providing a stimulating environment for our furry friends. From socializing and brushing/grooming sessions, to an array of toys, we ensure that every small animal in our care experiences a fulfilling life while awaiting their forever home. 

Socializing is more than just companionship’ it’s a vital aspect of small animal care. The animal care teams and volunteers at our 12 animal centres across the province devote time to interact with each animal, offering cuddles, gentle handling, and positive reinforcement. These interactions not only provide mental stimulation, but also help build trust and confidence, which is crucial for their overall well-being. 

“Small animals including rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents are active, interactive and intelligent animals that need daily enrichment to keep them healthy and happy,” says Tracy McElman, Provincial Manager of Community Programming and Animal Centre Services at the Ontario SPCA. 

Regular brushing and grooming sessions are not only pampering sessions but are also essential for maintaining the health and hygiene of our small animals. Each animal in the care of the Ontario SPCA receives grooming to remove loose fur, prevent matting, and to ensure they look and feel their best. This grooming routine is also an opportunity for bonding and provides sensory stimulation through gentle touch. 

Another form of enrichment used by the team is through toys.  Toys are tools for mental and physical exercise. From chew toys for rabbits and guinea pigs to tunnels, balls, and puzzles, our small animals are given plenty of options! These toys encourage natural behaviours, such as chewing, digging, and problem-solving, keeping their minds sharp and boredom at bay. 

“Providing enrichment for your small animals can be easily accomplished with items you may already have around your home.  Paper towel rolls and paper bags can be stuffed with hay or treats. Cardboard boxes can become hiding places or tunnels,” says Tracy. 

Check out our blog for some great DIY and small animal enrichment ideas. 

Enrichment isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity for small animals. It promotes physical and mental well-being, reduces stress, and prevents behavioral issues. By providing socialization opportunities, grooming sessions, and a variety of toys, we ensure that each small animal in our care leads a fulfilling life while they wait for their forever homes. 

Looking to adopt? Visit to view our animals available for adoption! 

Please help us continue to educate about pet health and well-being by making a donation. 


The post Keeping small animals happy and healthy at the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society! appeared first on Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.

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