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What Pet Rodent Smells the Least?

Last Updated: 26.02.20


Rodents can produce odor within a space mainly due to the ammonia in their urine, so before getting those gerbils wheels, do determine what type of pet is right for your home. House rabbits, fancy rats, and chinchillas are among the top choices from this point of view. 

If you are an animal lover and you’ve had many different types of pets, then you surely know that each one comes with unique characteristics such as odors. While these little creatures bring us a lot of joy and beautiful moments, it’s important to know how to deal with issues involving smells, especially if you live in a smaller space. 

The good news when it comes to pets is that if there are more family members living in the same house, the responsibilities can be shared and many such issues can be easily dealt with. On the other hand, if you want to get a pet for an office environment then you might want to choose one that doesn’t pose too many problems in this regard. 

With this in mind, we’ve decided to get more information and see which types of pets give little or even no odor. In the following lines, we’re going to explore the options and go into details on what small pets you could choose from and their particularities. 

Furthermore, there are measures that you can take to reduce the amount of odor, so we’re going to take a look at what these are as well. 


Rodent pets 

We all know that these little guys tend to be highly active, which makes them a great addition to any family. With their adorable looks and curious personalities, rodents have made our lives more fun for quite a while. Some types of rodents are easier to keep clean, which helps in terms of odor control. 

One such example consists of house rabbits. While these aren’t exactly rodents, but actually part of the order Lagomorpha, the fact that they were initially classified as rodents and that they do have many shared characteristics with them makes most people think they are, in fact, rodents (which is why we included rabbits in this section). 

With their strong personalities, these pets are naturally clean. They actually ensure the cleaning process themselves, but they do shed a couple of times per year, which means that they still need to be occasionally brushed. Moreover, these are intelligent creatures, so they can be house trained to use a litter box without trouble. 

The one thing that might pose odor issues within a space is the ammonia in their urine, therefore the bedding (if they are caged) or the litter box needs to be cleaned frequently. This is not a very complicated process, as you can imagine, but it shouldn’t be missed in order to keep your pet comfortable and your home or office space fresh-smelling. 

Chinchillas are another example of rodents that can be easily kept in a smaller space. Looking like a cross between a rabbit and a hamster, these little guys are simply adorable. Their particularity consists of needing dust baths, which might be a bit of a messy process, but it’s also a lot of fun. 

They do a great job keeping themselves clean and they never need to get wet. While their droppings are easy to clean, they do tend to make a lot of them, so creating a designated space for them is ideal. Kept as pets, chinchillas are great but they also have certain needs, so if you think such furball is exactly what you need, you should do your research before buying one. 



Fancy rats 

Fancy rats, which are the domesticated version of those we are dreading around the cities, are another alternative you should bear in mind. While many of us shiver even when thinking about rats, the fact is that these rodents are highly intelligent and surprisingly clean animals. Thanks to their small size and quiet nature, they can also be great office pets. 

Self-grooming is one of their favorite activities and, when more rats are kept in the same space, they groom each other as well. Baths are not necessary, so this is one thing less to worry about, but males do mark their territory which means that in some cases going for a female rat is a better alternative. 

However, if you do want to get a male rat, there are some things that you can do to make your life easier. You can reduce the marking behavior by simply taking some of the used bedding and sprinkling it throughout the cage. This way, the little guy won’t feel the need to re-mark the cage after you are done cleaning it. 

The most important aspect when keeping a rodent pet is regularly cleaning the cage or space you’ve dedicated for your little friend. This way, the odor in your home or space will be kept under control and your pet will remain healthy and comfortable. Urine is the one causing most of the problems in this matter, so if you take it out of the picture, you can enjoy your time together. 


Other small pets to consider 

We know that rodents are one of the most popular types of pets thanks to their cute looks and playful behavior, but there are other alternatives that you can take into account, especially if a family member suffers from allergies caused by furry animals. 

Geckos are medium-sized reptiles known for their gentle nature and beautiful colors. Keeping a lizard can prove to be a great idea, especially if you have kids who are passionate about animals. Geckos are clean and odors are kept to a minimum, while their calm behavior makes them excellent reptiles for a beginner. 

They need to be kept in tanks or terrariums and these need to be regularly cleaned, while food also plays an important part in keeping the little guys healthy and smell-free. In terms of bedding, the coconut husk is the preferred alternative, since it keeps potential odors under control. 

Fish are also a very good option as pets that don’t usually give off smells. If the tank is well maintained, you shouldn’t have any problems. A freshwater one can have an earthy aroma, while a saltwater tank can give off a beach-like scent. On the other hand, if anything goes wrong with the tank or if its maintenance is not properly done, then foul odors will happen. 

Another reason for which the tank might start smelling is overfeeding the fish, so you need to make sure that you know what amount of food any type of fish should get, especially if you are still new to keeping a tank. However, you should get the hang of it right away, so it’s not something to be really worried about. 

Birds that are quieter than parrots and gentle such as the parakeet can also be a good choice. As long as the cage is kept clean, smells should not be an issue, but they do tend to make a little mess around it by scattering feathers and seeds. 

If you don’t have too much time and you don’t want to deal with cleaning around the cage on a regular basis, then you can get a cage skirt or a similar item to block elements from being scattered around. 



Keeping the space clean 

Pets that are kept in either cages or tanks can develop odors if their maintenance is not properly done. When it comes to fish tanks, the main source of the smell is the water if waste and algae build up. However, as long as the filtration system and the tank itself are kept clean, and the water is regularly replaced, you shouldn’t have problems when it comes to this. 

Keeping a larger tank can prove to be quite challenging, especially if you are new to this since the appropriate-sized filtration system needs to be installed. Moreover, it also requires quite a bit of time, so you should think about these aspects and determine if fish are the right type of pet for you. 

When it comes to rodents and other pets kept in cages, these should be odor-free if the bedding is regularly replaced. The main source of the smell is the ammonia from urine, and in some cases, sprinkling a bit of baking powder can help keep it under control. However, before you do this, make sure that you talk to a vet and that the powder doesn’t pose health issues for the little guy. 

Choosing the right type of bedding for your pet is also important and, as we’ve already mentioned, females don’t need to mark their territories, so it might be better to choose them over males. 




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Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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