Supply Checklist Before Taking Your New Prairie Dog Home


  • Cage
  • Hide areas
  • Exercise wheel
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Water & food dishes
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Travel carrier
  • Exotic veterinarian address and contact information


Prairie dogs should be housed in as large a cage as is practical as they require room to move around and explore. There should be enough space for exercise, but they aren’t big climbers so a lot of shelves and ledges aren’t necessary. Stainless steel or wire cages are preferred since they are chew-proof. The cage should allow proper ventilation, as well. Exotic Nutrition’s 4-Level Mansion is a good choice for a spacious cage that is customizable to your prairie dog’s needs. If you have a lot of space, you can also build a larger enclosure rather than a cage so they have more room. The preferred temperature for prairie dogs is about 70° F with about 30-70% humidity, so make sure the space you house them in isn’t too hot or cold. It is recommended that you keep your prairie dogs in the most commonly frequented areas of your home so they can see you easily even when they cannot be out with you. When they are able to see you from the safety of their habitat they often feel more at ease because they are participating and contributing to the family dynamic, similar to their social needs in the wild.

Prairie dogs love to burrow, so providing tunnels, huts, hideouts, and other hide areas allow them to explore and play in their enclosure. Exotic Nutrition has many different types of Hide Areas available that prairie dogs will enjoy.

Exercise is very important for prairie dogs. Placing an exercise wheel in your prairie dog’s cage is the easiest way to ensure your pet can get the exercise they need. The wheel should have a solid floor to prevent foot injury. We recommend the Chin-Sprint wheel, a durable metal wheel that is safe and silent for your prairie dog.

Shredded paper bedding is a great choice to layer in your prairie dog’s cage. A generous amount should be used because prairie dogs will use it to burrow. It is safe if your pet nibbles on the bedding and absorbs liquids and odors well. Bedding made from pine or cedar should be avoided. They can be sharp and painful to your pet’s feet and the odors they give off are not good for their respiratory system.

Toys are important to encourage interest, curiosity, and movement from your prairie dog. There are many different types of toys, from interactive toys like our Barrel Roller Toy to foraging toys like the Hide And Seek Forager. Another type of toy that is important for the health of your prairie dog are chew toys. Chew toys, like our Willow Ball, give prairie dogs something to gnaw on that won’t destroy their living space.

Prairie dogs are vegetarians and require a high-fiber diet for their health. When kept as a pet, Prairie dogs should be fed a high fiber pellet diet along with hay (Timothy Hay PelletsTimothy Hay Cubes, Timothy Hay Sticks, regular Timothy Hay, Timothy Grass, etc). Exotic Nutrition has formulated a diet high in fiber, made from all natural, locally grown grain products - Exotic Nutrition’s Prairie Dog Diet & Prairie Dog Pup Diet, these emulate the natural nutritional needs of Prairie Dogs.

Treats can also be provided in small amounts to assist in bonding, training, and exercise. For more information on food for a prairie dog, visit our article on Prairie Dog Feeding.

Water is essential for all animals, and prairie dogs are no exception. The best and easiest way to provide water for your prairie dog is to hang a Water Bottle in their cage somewhere they can easily reach it. Make sure they always have a supply of fresh, clean water. Food dishes are also essential to keep the food clean and contained so your prairie dog knows where to find it. Exotic Nutrition’s Stainless Steel Cup with Holder is an excellent choice. It’s also a good idea to get a second dish for hay.

A prairie dog’s cage needs to be cleaned regularly. The bedding will most likely need to be changed at least once a week. Wash the water bottle, food bowl, and any cage accessories or toys that get dirty with a safe cleaner like our Kage Kleen  spray. Make sure everything is dry before returning items to the cage.

Trip to the Vet? Going away for the weekend? Just cleaning the cage? Travel carriers or temporary cages are a necessity for all these activities. See all of our prairie dog carriers.

Before welcoming your glider into your home, prepare ahead of time by finding a reputable exotic pet veterinarian. You can get recommendations from your breeder, another local glider owner, or by calling vets in your area.  Related info articles: Veterinarian Database.


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Notice: Exotic Nutrition cannot provide specific care guidelines on an individual basis. Please consult a veterinarian or experienced breeder.


Exotic Nutrition is proud to serve hundreds of universities, zoological parks, veterinarians, research centers and other institutions seeking to advance the health and well-being of exotics worldwide. See a full list of institutions using our products here.

Exotic Nutrition has a heart for animals in need. Through regular donations to rescues, rehabilitators, and special fundraiser events, Exotic Nutrition is making a significant impact in the lives of animals. See a full list of our charitable donations here


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