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What Do I Do About My Mice If I Have To Go Away?

Make as many preparations as you can before you leave.
In other words, mix up all their food yourself and clean them out thoroughly. You don’t know if the person who’s checking on them will do a good enough job, so try and make it as easy as possible for them.

Leave all supplies in the same, easy to find place.
If you have to, label the supplies with what they are and how/when to use them. Make sure you have enough ‘in house’ so that your mouse-sitter will not run out in your absence. If you are going on a longer trip and you think you may not have enough room for extra supplies, give your mouse-sitter a detailed list of what to buy and where from to avoid mistakes.

Make sure there is someone competent to administer any medications.
Even if the person is experienced or seems to know how to do it, leave written instructions for them including dose, method and time to give medication. It may be the case that you have to leave the mouse needing medicines with a different person who is more confident giving medication, or more reliable (remembering/able to do it at the correct time every day).

Make sure that the importance of daily checks and handling is understood.
Explain that the person’s responsibility is not only to top up food and water and perhaps clean out the tank, but to really ensure the mice are well and happy. Try to ensure that the mice are handled every day while you are away, or at least every other day with non-handling days meaning the mice are allowed 20 minutes playtime in their runaround balls outside the tank. Stress the importance of keeping the mice occupied with toy changes. Daily checks should be insisted on to make sure that the mice’s health is not declining unnoticed.

Try to get a mouse-sitter who is experienced with mice and can sex them.
Children may put the wrong mice back in the wrong cages if the person supervising them cannot tell the difference between your bucks and does. To avoid this, insist on supervision at all times and allow mice from only one tank out at a time to avoid mix-ups. This will also help someone unfamiliar with your particular mice to keep them in the right groups.

Leave emergency contact details – i.e. the number of a good vet.
In case anything happens or a mouse gets ill during the time you are away, leave all details of your vet with whoever is looking after the mice. This will include name, address, phone number, emergency phone number and surgery opening hours. Make sure you let the mouse-sitter know that you would rather they went to the vet for a little thing than left something alone which could progress into something worse.

Mention any special considerations and also write them down as a reminder.
Special considerations might include a certain diet or allergy that one or more of the mice have. It could also be a ‘don’t’, such as ‘don’t let the obese mouse have many sunflower seeds or chocolate drops as treats’. If any of the mice need special handling, e.g. because they have an injury or are pregnant, be sure to mention this.

Leave a number where you can be contacted in an emergency.
If there is something that needs your knowledge about your mice, or your consent, you will be glad that you could be reached. Most people have a mobile phone for emergencies and if not, the number of the hotel where you are staying could be left as a contact point.

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