Small Animals

Gerbils

gerbil2.jpgGerbils are a great small animal pet.  Their bodies will grow to about 3-6 inches long (plus another 3-6 inches in tail length) and they weigh only an ounce or two making them easy to handle.

Many small animals are mostly active at night, but gerbils are active during the day, which makes them more fun.  Gerbils are very social, and love to be kept in pairs or small groups.  Be forewarned that they reproduce rapidly, so groups of same-sex gerbils are wiser unless you want a lot of gerbils!

Hamsters

baby_hamsters.jpgHamsters come in two sizes, full-sized hamsters which grow to 4-6 inches long and dwarf hamsters which are 2-3 inches in size.  Each size has several breeds, the main differences are in color and length of coat. Life expectancy is 2-3 years.

Besides size, the major difference between the two types of hamsters is that full-size hamsters must be kept alone in a cage, while dwarf hamsters do best with a couple of cage mates (of the same sex and breed).  Dwarf hamsters are more active than full-sized breeds and actually require more space to be happy.

Guinea Pigs

IMG_3053.JPGDespite their name, guinea pigs are not pigs and they aren't from Guinea.  They are small rodents originally found in the Andes Mountains in South America.  Keeping with the pig name, adult females are called sows, adult males are known as bores, but their offspring are known as pups.  Guinea pigs are also known as cavies.

Guinea pigs are large rodents, growing up to 10-15 inches in length (with almost no tail) and weighing up to 3 pounds.  They usually will live 4-5 years.

Rabbits

dutch2.jpgRabbits are becoming more popular as house pets every year.  One reason for this trend is that they can be litter trained like a cat.

An indoor house rabbit can live from 5-10 years and provide a lot of family pleasure.  Rabbits are playful and love interacting with people.  They can also do well with cats and dogs if introduced carefully.  However, they may become violent if put in the same cage with another rabbit if the two haven't bonded.

Rats

baby_rats2.jpgMany people get queasy when they think of having a rat as a pet...but they may be one of the best small animals to keep as pets!

Rats are very clean animals, spending as much as a third of their waking time grooming themselves.  They are also intelligent and can be trained to come to their name and do simple tricks.

Because they are intelligent and very sociable, it's a good idea to have more than one rat.  In fact, it can make training your rat even easier than if you just have one, since your rats will be more confident and outgoing.  Be sure both your rats are the same sex unless you plan on raising them.

Supplies and Accessories

 

Mini-critters has everything you need to take care of your small animal.

Cages

The first thing you should know about small animals is that they're escape artists. That said, your first accessory for your small animal pet should be housing that will keep your new pet from getting out and putting itself in danger.  At mini-critters we have a variety of housing from cages, to aquariums with locking critter lids, to specially designed habitats.

small_animal_bedding.jpgBedding

Small animals require an absorbent bedding material that is placed in the bottom of their cage. There are many types of bedding materials including wood chips and shredded paper and cloth.  Some cheap materials have a history of creating health problems due to fumes and chemicals that are both natural or added to the material.  At mini-critters, we have several different types of bedding to choose from and we can help you pick out the best choice for your particular animal.

Toys

Many small animals love toys.  Almost all like to climb and run and dig and hide. Mini-critters has lots of toys, wheels, and hamster balls that will help keep your pet challenged and happy.  We also have climbing toys and tunnels to hide in.  Bring home a new toy for your little critter!

Food

small_animal_food_2.jpgIt's important that you provide healthy foods for them.  That could mean fresh fruits and vegetables, grass and hay, and more.  We have a variety of foods that will supplement your fresh offerings with many of the vitamins and minerals they need to live a long and healthy life.

 

Treats

small_animal_treats2.jpgRodents and rabbits have one important need: to chew.  Their teeth are more like our fingernails in that they keep growing and growing all through their life. If they aren't kept short, the animal can't close it's mouth and they could starve to death. In the wild, they would naturally wear their teeth down as they go about scavenging for food.  In a cage, it's up to you to provide the chew toys.  We've got a good variety of different things to chew on.  Having several in their cage will also help keep them from chewing on the cage itself or their dish or water bottle.