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Which Small Pet Is Best for Me?

Last Updated: 27.02.20


Hamster accessories are one of the things you need to take into consideration if you want to get a companion. However, small pets are still a responsibility so it’s great to be informed and find out which one is the best fit for yourself and your lifestyle. You may want to pick from gerbils, hamsters, rats, Guinea pigs, chinchillas, or rabbits due to their size and easy maintenance.


Do I Want A Pet?

Since, like most anything else, they come in different shapes and sizes, it may be hard to know on the spot which one you should choose but it is imperative you inform yourself enough to be able to make an educated guess when the time comes. 

You should also keep in mind that having any pet is bound to be hard work so for both your sakes you should really consider if you can give it enough time, attention, and love to be able to provide a happy home for your new friend.

Gerbils As Pets

First things first, we’re starting off with the lovely gerbil. They are great to have and to watch since they are burrowing animals by nature and they spend hours and hours digging just for the pleasure of it, which can be captivating to watch! 

Because they are so quick and agile they may provide a challenge for small children wanting to actually hold them without hurting them by squeezing too hard. Therefore, they’re best suited for somebody who mostly loves watching them and caring for them. 

Not to mention the fact that these ‘’pocket pets’’, which is another word for all manners of small pets, are usually terrified of humans and human touch. Even though you can train them to appreciate it if they’re handled gently for long periods of time, pet stores often sell them as full-grown adults which are almost impossible to tame. 

Last but not least, like other rodents, gerbils are nocturnal so if you or your child want a fluffy companion who’s going to be up and ready to go during the first hours of the morning you may want to rethink your pet of choice as this one is not best suited for you.


Hamsters As Pets

Hamsters are the foundation upon which the love for small pets was built. They are quick, active, energetical and generally adorable little guys to be around. However, keep in mind that they are also nocturnal so, once again, they may be a disappointing first pet for a child who wants nothing more than to pet it when it wakes up. 

Since they emerge just when children usually go to bed, you may get a cranky companion, especially if you wake it up. Be careful if you do this since a hamster’s eyesight is not its greatest asset and they might bite if they get startled.

It’s also quite important to know what kind of hamster you’re getting due to social reasons. While dwarf hamsters like a good company and can be kept in same sex pairs or groups, the fabled Syrians are solitary and feel best when living alone. 

They’re relatively low-maintenance pets and can pretty much entertain themselves if you provide them with a hamster wheel and some tubes and toys. If you work long days and come home at night, this pet might be ideal for you since you’ll literally find it up and running and waiting for you.


Rats As Pets

If you want a pet who’s as extrovert as you are rats are a great choice! They absolutely love social interaction and for this reason make ideal companions for adults and children alike. Keep in mind that this quality runs so deep inside them that they actually get depressed if left without attention from their owner so you should be prepared to devote some time to them.

Furthermore, rats are also pretty picky when it comes to their housing conditions. They need more cage space than say hamsters or gerbils and they also love a few extra levels to their accommodation, just so they can show off, of course. For this reason, an aquarium does not make a suitable home for rats.

They are also highly intelligent beings which you can really interact with as long as you can carve out some time each day to show them your love.

Guinea Pigs As Pets

Guinea pigs can make good companions for both children and adults because they are fun to watch and also have a pretty wide range of emotions they can display. Once you get to know them, you’ll be able to tell when they are happy, excited, angry or sad. 

Remember that you can’t just buy them and leave them in a hutch in a secluded place of your garden since they need shelter from all types of weather and a safe place to run where they can express themselves freely. 

They’re much more active than a hamster and will spend more time actively looking for your company after they get to know you because they really don’t like to be alone. 

Furthermore, it’s vital that guinea pigs are with another of their own kind because this is the only way they can be truly happy. They can be a great first pet for a child as long as there is considerable parental involvement, but keep in mind that they have a fairly long lifespan, up to seven years, so think whether your child will still be interested in them after that time.


Chinchillas As Pets

Chinchillas are one of the more special choices you can have for a pet because they tend to remind their owners of a slightly smaller but equally intelligent cat. If housed and handled correctly, they are happy and interesting companions that can even be taught to do basic tricks provided you’re well stocked up on treats!

Keep in mind that their average lifespan is around 15 years so getting a chinchilla is quite the commitment and you are responsible for what happens to it. This is especially true if you are thinking of buying one for your child who may grow up and leave the house by the time the chinchilla has reached later life. 

They are also nocturnal animals with a very special quirk: They absolutely love their dust baths. It is essential for their mental and physical well-being so expect to clean up the dust quite often because they are enthusiastic about it and make quite a lot of mess. 

Chinchillas need to live with a companion to be on their best behavior, either a female with a neutered male or even littler mates of the same sex. As long as they have been together since birth, they will usually live together without any problems. A large cage will also be required as well as some time out of it for some exercise and leg-stretching.

Rabbits As Pets

Most people wrongly assume that rabbits are excellent pets for children. While the fluffy-eared little guy is indeed a great pet, there are many things to be considered before opening up your house and your heart to it, especially if you have young children.

First things first, rabbits are used to being the prey out in the wilderness so they need ample space to run and to hide in when they feel any kind of danger. If you keep your rabbit in a hutch it will lack this security feeling and when a child will try to lift it from there, the rabbit may even try to scratch or bite to get away from the perceived danger.

Your new fluffy companion will need an enclosed space for sleeping and resting as well as a larger area where it can run around and play. A ‘’wooden house’’ type of construction might work best because this will give your children the opportunity to sit quietly and wait for the rabbit to come to them, which is a lot better than picking it up without permission.

Furthermore, keep in mind that it is essential for a rabbit to live with a roommate of its own kind in order for it to be an overall happy and healthy bunny. Many people tend to think that you can pair rabbits with guinea pigs without any problems but we strongly advise against it since they can get in ugly fights.

The approximate lifespan of a bunny is between six to eight years so, again, this is something you need to think about before buying one.




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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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