There is a slew of small pets referred to as “pocket pets” that can be an option for animal lovers who aren’t home enough or have enough space to love on a larger more active friend like dogs and cats. Choosing the right one may be challenging, so here’s a summary of some amazing small pets to consider adding to your family.
Hamsters are nocturnal, making them great for folks who work long days and are home alone at night. They are relatively low maintenance and can entertain themselves with a hamster wheel, tubes, and toys. They need a wire cage with a solid bottom to live in that is nicely padded with shavings.
Guinea pigs are very active and have an expressive personality. You can get to know your piglet so well that you’ll be able to tell when she’s happy, sad, mad, or excited. Guinea pigs prefer large open spaces where they can run around, graze freely, and be safe from predators. Guinea pigs experience loneliness and need a companion to socialize to avoid depression.
Like hamsters, chinchillas are nocturnal animals. They don’t require much maintenance, but they do need a fairly large cage with a dust bath in it. Chinchillas are very enthusiastic about their dust baths, so if you’re going to adopt one of these creatures, you need to be prepared to sweep up and clean up dust on a frequent basis. Chinchillas, like guinea pigs, need a companion to live with.
Mice and Rats
Mice are entertaining animals to watch. They are very active and playful and able to climb ropes, run around in tunnels, and put on a show for children. However, with all their energy they are not easy to hold. If you want a small animal for your child to hold and cuddle, you may want to consider buying a rat. Rats enjoy social interaction, and they are intelligent, making them great pets for children and adults. Without attention, rats can become very depressed, thereby shortening their lifespan.
Rats and mice both need space, though rats need more than mice. While a large aquarium might work for a mouse, rats need a cage with multiple levels, similar to a hutch you might buy for a gerbil or hamster.
Hermit crabs are highly active, interesting, and social little creatures. Hermit crabs can live for up to 30 years when taken care of properly. Proper care includes providing them with an environment with a temperature of 75 degrees. They love humidity, so daily misting is encouraged. They also need sand to dig in, rocks to climb, and places to hide out in.
Ferrets are like cats: independent, curious, and mischievous. Children love ferrets, and if trained properly, they can be the loyal and low-maintenance companion you desire. Because of their curiosity, you will need to ferret-proof your house by putting out of reach all things that could potentially harm or trap your ferret. If you choose this fun addition, check out our easy DIY treat recipe to make for your new furry family member.
Though reptiles such as snakes, lizards, and frogs are relatively low maintenance, setting up the proper environment for them can be difficult and expensive. Reptiles need the right environment to thrive, which should be moderated with a heat lamp. They also need plenty of foliage (preferably foliage similar to their native habitat), hiding spots, and ground covering. Reptiles eat live prey, which can make some people squeamish. If you’re not into feeding live mice or bugs, a reptile is probably not going to be the best pet for you.
If you choose to go down the road of loving a pocket pet, Space Coast Pet Services is here for you. We provide home visits where we drop-in to your home to care for your pet(s). This can include dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, exotics, aquatics, and more. A pet is most comfortable in their own home/environment, even when their owners are away.
Duties include feeding, water refreshing, walks, cleaning tanks/cages/litter boxes, general health check and play & snuggle time. House sitting services are included FREE of charge when you book this service. There will be a minimum number of visits required based on the pet’s species, age, access to the potty area, and/or any medical issues.
We do not charge by time for this service; each visit is customized to what your pet needs and we don’t charge extra if a little extra TLC is needed. Does this feel like the best fit for your pet? Set up your pet’s profile and request a meet & greet!
Let us know about your small pet in the comments below!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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