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Choosing the Right Pocket Pet

Are you considering getting a pocket pet? Pocket pets are very cute and are much easier to care for than other animals. They are typically tame and curious, and are suitable pets for children. Choosing the right one may be a bit of a headscratcher, though, as they are all super adorable! In this article, your veterinarian Fayette Clinic discusses some popular choices for pocket pets.

Hamsters

Hamsters have those cute little cheek pouches that make their faces look adorably chubby. They are typically nocturnal, so if you choose a hamster, be aware that your pet may be sleepy when you are the most active, and vice versa. Hamsters can live up to four years with proper care. They can eat a basic commercial food, supplemented with lots of greens, fruits, and seeds. As far as habitat, a single hamster will need, at the very least, a 12 x 18 inch cage. Hamsters need to chew constantly, so you’ll need to supply them with lots of chew toys. Hamsters bond better to people than to other hamsters, so you don’t want to keep more than one hamster per cage.

Gerbils

Gerbils are hamsters’ smaller cousins. It’s best to get more than one, because gerbils are very social animals, and a single gerbil will get lonely and depressed without any roommates. You should have at least a 12 x 24 cage for each group of gerbils, though bigger is always better. Like hamsters, gerbils tend to be nocturnal, but they won’t sleep the entire day. Gerbils live about two or three years. They are sometimes preferred over hamsters as pets for small children because they are less apt to bite. Another reason gerbils sometimes come out on top is that, because they are desert animals, they are adapted to processing small amounts of water. This translates into less waste and a cleaner cage.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are actually quite intelligent, and can even learn some tricks! Guinea pigs live longer than many pocket pets, with a lifespan that can be up to seven years. These cute little furballs tend to do best in pairs. Two piggies will need at least four square feet of space, which should be allocated more to floor space than height. When it comes to diet, Guinea pigs have somewhat more stringent needs than other pocket pets, as they require a constant supply of fresh hay and veggies, at least some of which must have high vitamin C content. They also need lots of toys to keep them amused.

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