Rodents as pets, sometimes referred to as “pocket pets,” are very popular pets.
The most common rodents kept as pets are hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, and guinea pigs. They make good first pets for young children because they require minimal care. Most have a shorter life span than dogs and cats (two to six years for most, but chinchillas can live for up to 20 years). Young children should be told of this fact so that the sudden death of a three-year-old pet will not be a shock to them. They, like any other pet, get sick from time to time, and their illnesses can be severe.
Rodents are frequently kept as pets for young children. While children should be involved in pet care, expecting them to be fully responsible is unreasonable. An adult must be willing, capable, and accessible to supervise. While rodents are tiny and often tractable, they can inflict damage by scratching or biting. Children should not handle a rodent unless an adult has determined that the animal would tolerate typical interactions and handling in a calm manner.
Children should be taught not to disturb sleeping or resting pets or take them from their nest or nest box, as well as how to handle them securely, such as not picking them up by their limbs or tail. While touching animals, young children should always be supervised. Kids should be made aware that rodents have short lifespans so that they can manage senior animals with care and comprehend the ultimate death of their pet.
Despite the fact that most domesticated rodents require identical basic care, there are small variances in behavior across this animal species. Understanding this information ahead will aid you in finding the best chubby cheek companion for you!
Most rodents consume some mix of pelleted hay, rodent chow, grains, seeds, vegetables and fruits, with the amount of each dependent on the breed. Before acquiring a pet rodent, do some study on its food.
When getting a new pet, make sure you understand his or her housing, social and environmental needs, activity patterns, potential scents and sounds, and any other elements that may pose a problem for your household. It is most advised that you do your research first about the animal before you acquire one.
In choosing your pet rodent, what choices do you have?
In his article “Choosing Your Pet Rodent”, Jeff Thompson tells us that the most common rodent pets are hamsters. Syrian and golden hamsters are the most acquired breeds. However, albino (white with pink eyes) hamsters are also available. Hamsters may fight if housed in pairs or groups, thus, they are normally housed alone.
Gerbils, which are similar in size to hamsters, are more active and gregarious, according to Thompson. Gerbils, unlike hamsters, like to be kept in pairs or small groups. Gerbils are thinner and have longer back legs that allow them to stand upright. They also have a wonderful long tail. While gerbils are strictly nocturnal, they have been observed to be more like cats, enjoying naps throughout the day and being equally active during day time and night time. Gerbils are not as easy to manage as hamsters, but they can be tamed. Prospective owners should be advised that in some places, acquiring and maintaining gerbils is unlawful.
While mice can be docile and fun, they are significantly more skittish than hamsters or gerbils. Female mice behave well in pairs or small groups, whereas male mice frequently fight. Mice will scent-mark portions of their cage, so you will have to clean their cages more often, explains Thompson.
Guinea pigs are the largest and most popular of the rodents typically kept as pets, according to Thompson. Guinea pigs are the most popular rodent breed because of their large size and mild demeanor. They are gregarious, unlikely to bite, and perform well in couples or groups of the same sex. In addition, they might be more loud than other rodents. A guinea pig will require a spacious, but not double-layered, enclosure.
Thompson claims that the Degu is the least popular pet rodent, although it is far from the worst. They are around three to four times the size of a hamster, live longer, and make active and devoted pets. They are highly energetic and love to jump around, therefore even though they are smaller than a guinea pig, they will require a large sized enclosure (double or multi-layer preferred). They are gregarious rodents, like gerbils, and thrive in pairs or small groups. If you can’t find packaged food, mix hamster and guinea pig chow together! They will also like hay and veggies like a rabbit.
Chinchillas are lively and friendly pet rodents who enjoy snuggling. Because of their lengthy lives of 10 years or more, owning one as a pet is a long-term commitment, but because of their lively personality, they can be a lot of joy to have around. The fact that they are nocturnal mammals, they are most active in the evening. Chinchillas, despite their silky coat, should be handled only when absolutely essential. According to Thompson, chinchillas should never be washed in water since it promotes fur rot and skin fungus. A chinchilla, on the other hand, requires a daily dust bath in which they may roll to absorb oils in their fur. Due to their huge size, chinchillas require a multi-level habitat. Chinchilla pellets and hay will be consumed.