There’s something undeniably cute about having a small pet - they often instill us with a sense of complete wonder as we watch them scurrying around their miniature homes searching for food, bedding, or pretty much anything they can amuse themselves with!
It doesn’t matter what kind of small creature you choose to have as a pet, they’re all fairly similar in nature in that they’re immensely curious and highly sensitive to the world around them - this makes them fantastic companions and once you form a bond with them, you’ll find that they’re loyal to you as a result and many years worth of happy memories will ensue.
Over the course of this article we’re going to address the needs of your small pet so that you can carefully consider each and every area before purchasing one - you’re going to need to ensure that you cover everything on this list adequately if you want to ensure the optimum safety and happiness of your friendly critter at all times.
What kind of home should my small pet live in?
This is an absolutely crucial first question to ask as your little friend is going to be spending the vast majority of its time in the habitat that you purchase for it - as a result, that habitat needs to be completely suitable for its needs whilst ensuring safety and protection.
If you’re going for a hamster for instance, it’s a good idea to acquire a home that allows it to get plenty of free roaming space whilst including tunnels and small areas for it to create a bed in - the tunnels will tie into its natural curiosity and small spaces are a must in order for it to create a suitable bed.
Should you choose a gerbil on the other hand, your cage should include areas where it can climb and make the most of its natural agility whilst including tunnels and open areas for it to run through - rabbits will need an outdoor hutch that contains plenty of space and adequate insulation to keep it warm during the cold months.
Regardless of your pet choice, make sure you know precisely what kind of habitat it’ll need to keep it satisfied.
The right food
Even though certain small animals may look very similar, they all have very different metabolisms and digestive systems - you’ve got to ensure that the food you purchase for your pet is going to be compatible with its inner workings.
It’s always a good idea to research online and find out which food type is going to serve your new family member the best - you need something that’s going to be nutritionally dense whilst offering every ounce of the energy it needs to function at an optimal level.
Mainstream isn’t always the best route to go down, and you’ll find that a lot of the commercial pet food available is lacking greatly in nutritional value - anything supported by a veterinary or animal welfare group will put you on the right track.
Daily activities and human engagement
Is your creature a natural recluse or does it prefer company? Is it lazy by nature or does it need constant physical stimulation? These are both questions that you’ll need to ask yourself before deciding which small pet to get.
Some pets will naturally need a great deal of exercise, more than their cages can possibly provide - as such, you’ll need to ensure that they get plenty of time out in the open (ensure the area is secure, letting them run wildly on your front lawn for instance is definitely going to result in an escape attempt) so that they can run off all of their excess energy.
In contrast, some rabbit breeds like a little outdoor exercise in the garden but they’re content with not straying too far away from their cage - this makes them quite easy to manage and ultimately they’re often content sitting in their own space with a handful of treats to gnaw on.
No matter which pet you have, it’s definitely going to have its own unique set of personality traits - whereas too much human interaction and outdoor space can be overwhelming for some creatures, for others it is their lifeblood.
All creature varieties have a genetic flaw of some kind as part of their organic make up and you need to know precisely what kind of issues you’re likely to face with them in order to ensure that you can look after them properly.
Research thoroughly what your new pet may be allergic to or what could lead to it falling ill and ensure that you contact your vet immediately should any of the symptoms of these ailments arise.
Small animal care certainly isn’t rocket science, and if you pay close attention to the individual needs of your pet by thoroughly digesting the innate traits and habits of the species - it’s safe to say that you’ll have a really positive time with your furry little friend.