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Pocket Pets

February 5, 2014

Whether you rave about rats, swoon over bunnies, or giggle at guinea pigs, small mammal pets, commonly called “pocket pets”, can be a great addition to any family. They include rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, mice, and rats. The more exotic species include sugar gliders, hedge hogs, chinchillas and even prairie dogs. These cute and cuddly, “pocket pets” are wild animals who have very special husbandry requirements.  In the U.S. pocket pets can be found in over 4 million homes.

Pocket pets can make wonderful companions. They may be a good choice for those who cannot own a cat or dog because of space restrictions and as a good choice for children who are exploring pet companionship.

Hamsters and gerbils are often the first pets a child has. Certain breeds can be aggressive so learn about them before choosing one to take home. Rabbits have wonderful personalities and live longer than hamsters and gerbils. They are sturdier for children and don’t typically bite. Guinea pigs make an assortment of unique noises.

You’d be amazed at how affectionate a rat can be. Being highly intelligent, rats are a lot of fun to keep as pets. Mice are one of smallest pocket pets, but don’t dismiss these little rodents as pests quite yet. Plenty of people enjoy their unique personalities and ability to be trained.

Regardless of cost or size, all pets require commitment and responsibility. Most require a cage, water bottle, food dish, toys, exercise wheel, and hiding house just to get started. Take into account ongoing costs of food, bedding, and replacement equipment, and it may be surprising how quickly it adds up. Before choosing a pet, make sure these expenses are included in your budget.

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