Who said that pets have to be cats and dogs only? The choice of a pet can depend above all on two reasons:
- the desire to welcome a pet at home however;
- the minor time needed and/or spaces in respect of bigger pets.
However there can be other reasons for which you decide to care other pets! Let’s try to understand why.
For “other Pets” I mean small mammals like rabbits, hamsters, squirrels, mice and rats, but more and more often people choose to welcome in their home ferrets, chinchillas and also prairie dogs.
Excluding the rabbit, all the others are animals with a recent enough taming period and therefore they rest “wild“ animals ( even if raised in captivity from generations).
Just for their typically wild characteristics, many small animals are less “handling” above all by children. Our kids can’t always understand that, beyond their small size and softness, these animals are not stuffed animals.. and therefore they can bite to defend themselves or to escape.
Look for your trusted vendor’s suggestion by choosing the tamest pet and control his status of health: watch his face (it has to be symmetrical and it mustn’t have crusts), look at mouth and teeth. I say this because the most part of them are rodents, therefore the teeth have to be correctly aligned to avoid future problems of chewing.
Check the eyes of your pet as well, by verifying their clearness; ensure they are well opened and lacking secretions.
Even the fur must be thick and shiny.
Obviously, verify the nature of your pet. It is true that this depends on the species a lot, but generally a healthy animal is lively and dynamic! Further to the vivacity of certain animal species, I want to remind that hamsters, for example, are nocturnal animals and therefore they should be more “sleepy” during the day.
Now you may be wondering about sex: it will not be a big problem, but in case you buy two examples I suggest to take them with the same sex to avoid pregnancies (in rodents they are numerous and frequent).
Again further to the sexual life of your pets it is necessary to remember that, even in the periods of loves, some species can “fight” battles of supremacy even very bloody! Not all the small pets can be used to and this, in lack of escapes in a small cage, causes deep hurts that can lead to death.
The cage has to be adequately big. It has to be chosen according the size of the animal and we will have to try and respect their behavioral characteristics as much as possible.
This is an example about the necessity to take a small cage or not: rabbits drug deep galleries, how can they dig holes in a cage? Put the cage in not humid but airy places, noiseless and never under the sun.
The nutrition will have to be adequate to the species and never improvised: for examples rodents are extremely exigent and very delicate, the most part of the deaths in captivity is caused just by the food they don’t eat. Therefore don’t disregard their nutrition!
Water must be fresh and clean, contained in proper waterholes possibly hanging so that they don’t touch the floor or, alternatively, they must be heavy to avoid they overturn.
Even the cat toilets must be adequate according to the size of the animals and often cleaned.
I will talk again about “other Pets” in next articles, by resting on the needs of each of them.