Small Mammals – Can they Make Good Pets?

The small mammals category includes creatures such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rats and chinchillas. These can make excellent pets for children and adults alike, giving you companionship without being as demanding as a dog or a cat. But what are the real benefits of keeping these animals as pets?

  • Companionship. Your pet will always be there for you, keeping you company whenever you want them to. As long as you love them and give them attention, they will love you back.
  • Give children a sense of responsibility. Having a pet can be a great way for a child to learn what it’s like to be responsible. You can’t get much more serious than being responsible for the health and comfort of an animal. It is a very good life lesson for them.
  • Relatively cheap. Of course, any animal can have health problems and may have veterinary costs. The costs of keeping a small mammal will generally be quite low though, as their food and bedding will be quite cheap.
  • Friendly. Small mammals are cute and friendly. Make sure you are able to spend time with them and enjoy their company.

However, do bear in mind that there are some negatives to pet ownership.

  • Always think very, very carefully before buying a pet. Some small mammals can live for around 7 or 8 years, so it’s a long time to make that commitment.
  • You will always have something else to think about if you are going away, as you’ll need to find someone to look after your pet.
  • You need to have enough time to spend with your animals. This is especially true for pets like rats, as they are very sociable and will need quite a lot of attention. They can become depressed if they don’t have companionship, so make sure you are committed before you buy a pet.