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Why Small Rodents Make Great Pets

by Editorial Team | April 10th, 2018 | Elementary

If you’re a parent and there are no pets living in your home right now, you’ve probably been asked by your son or daughter to adopt this animal or the next. The fact is that it can be challenging making the right decision when it comes to pets, and that’s because they are little critters that need to be taken care of just as well as humans.

And as you know, some kids steer clear of the responsibility of taking care of a pet after the excitement goes away. Therefore, the likelihood of you, as a parent, caring for that animal in the future is very high.
Let’s look at some reasons why you should consider a small rodent instead of a cat or a dog. Of course, there are also downsides to this choice, and we’ll also try our best at detailing them below.

Feeding, cleaning, and housing

First off, some rodents consume a lot less food compared to cats and dogs, and that’s merely because they are smaller. Guinea pigs and hamsters eat less compared to bigger animals, but that might not be true for some types of rabbits whose bodies can get to weigh a lot.

Cleaning the enclosure can be done far more efficiently with a rodent, but the main advantage on this account is that you will not have to wake up at 5 am every day to take the dog outside to relieve him or herself.

As for the housing, some cages can be pretty expensive, but it depends on the type of rodent you own and what you’re looking to offer him or her.

For example, a good one for a Syrian hamster doesn’t cost all that much, but it might not be the same with guinea pig cages, for example, as you definitely need to ensure that the pets have more space. The bigger the animal, the larger the amount of space that he or she needs.


There are few cases where rodents (and hamsters especially) can get sick, and those are mostly due to issues regarding the enclosure or extreme temperatures. By contrast, guinea pigs do have several common diseases, as do rabbits. Gerbils are pretty disease-resistant, too, but their bodies are very frail, so they need to handled with care.

By comparison, cats and dogs can have an array of medical conditions.


Here’s where keeping pet rodents really has a significant drawback. The lifespan of a hamster is about two to three years, and we all know how heartbreaking it can be when a pet dies. Of course, there have been many cases where both dogs and cats have reached the age of twenty and even gone beyond it. That will not happen with small rodents.

Rabbits and guinea pigs might be luckier (and so will you) in this sense. Some guinea pigs are known to live to be eight or more.

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