If you’re thinking about acquiring a smaller pet, here are a few possibilities:
1. Life with Ferrets? They may remind you of some teenagers. They’re most active at twilight and sleep 14-18 hours during the day. Known for their long lean build and curious nature, ferrets can get themselves into tight places, like dryer conduits.
a. Why Ferrets are Ferrets: The name “ferret” is derived from the Latin “furittus” which means “little thief” and is a sometimes apt description for their tendencies to hide small items for future use. Life with a ferret would not be boring.
b. Potential Health Problems: Ferrets can be susceptible to cancers affecting adrenal glands, pancreas and the lymphatic system. Other common problems include hairballs and dental problems similar to cats.
c. Random Ferret Fact: In 1981, London’s event organizers used ferrets to run TV and sound cables for the wedding of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales.
2. Ready for Rabbits? With an average life span of 9-12 years, your pet rabbit can be part of your life for a long while. If you’re prepared for the special and social needs of a rabbit, you’ll find that rabbits quickly bond with you.
a. Training Possibilities: Rabbits can be litter box trained and learn to come when called.
b. Potential Health Problems: Rabbits have very fragile skin. As house pets, they are prone to obesity, digestive and dental diseases.
c. Random Rabbit Fact: Did you know that rabbits can’t vomit? To keep their delicate digestives systems running smoothly, they need lots of fiber in their diets as well as daily exercise.
3. Hamsters at Home. Hamsters are popular for good reason: they’re small, don’t require a lot of food and have an average life span of 2.5 to 3 years. Did I mention they’re very cute? That too!
a. Hamsters Gotta Run…and Chew. A running wheel should be one of your very first purchases for a hamster. For your own peace of mind, choose one that’s not noisy because your hamster will use it a lot. (Keep in mind that hamsters are crepuscular – most active at twilight.) Also be sure to provide wood structures and/or toys for chewing.
b. Keeping Hamsters Happy and Healthy. Handle your hamster daily to socialize him. Don’t bathe your hamster – she’s good about grooming himself and she can be chilled easily. Hamsters may be susceptible to some of the same viruses that you are; handle them with care and wash hands after handling!
c. Random Hamster Fact: Although hamsters are nearsighted and colorblind, they hear exceptionally well and have a keen sense of smell. In fact, they can communicate in an ultrasonic range.
Before you bring a small mammal home, do a lot of research on what that species needs. A little forethought and planning can prevent a host of problems. For instance a light sleeper might not want to share her bedroom with an animal most active at night. For small mammal care or to answer any questions you have regarding small mammal care, contact us. When it comes to finding a perfect pet for you and your family, we realize that small can be very good.