4 Species Of Rodents That Can Be Pets
Rodents are small mammals, friendly and expressive, in addition to being intelligent. A few decades ago, they started to become popular because they are easy to care for and clean and because they don’t take up a lot of space in the home. That’s why today we’ll introduce 4 species of rodents that can be pets.
Rodents that can be pets
Rodents are a class of mammals characterized by their teeth : they have four large incisors, two upper and two lower, that never stop growing. Therefore, it is necessary that they are continually gnawing and wearing them down, so that they remain healthy.
There are rodents of many different sizes; the smallest in the world are the pygmy gerbils, weighing just 3 grams. The biggest ones, however, are the capybaras: they can weigh up to 35 kilos and have the approximate size of a German shepherd.
Rodents that can be pets don’t go to these extremes; these two examples are wild animals that are very difficult to care for in captivity. In veterinary practice, domestic rodents are treated like exotic animals, but they can live without problems in our homes.
This class of animals is herbivorous, that is, they only eat fruits and vegetables. In some cases, such as hamsters and gerbils, they can also consume seeds and nuts. Your food should always be fresh, washed and raw. They cannot consume oil, salt, sugar or other additives.
If you want to live with one of these species of rodents, you must first prepare to receive them at home. So find out about their diet, the most suitable cage and what toys they might like.
Hamsters, whose image illustrates this article, are the rodents that may be the best known pets. There are different species of hamsters, which vary in size and colors; but there are several characteristics common to this species:
- They are nocturnal animals. That is, they are more active at night: if you play with them during the day, they will probably be in a bad mood and, at night, they will gnaw, run in your circle and make noise. Despite being so small, they have a lot of energy to expend and use it to run on their wheel.
- Except for a few specific species, they are very territorial animals and don’t like to share their cage with other hamsters. They prefer to live alone, or they will fight and get hurt.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are gregarious animals that, with few exceptions, enjoy the company of their peers. They tend not to have territorial behavior and are able to share even food.
Guinea pigs can weigh between one and three kilos and, according to their breed, have different types of hair; the differences between them are minimal. Guinea pigs love to eat and are very sleepy. Unlike hamsters, they are diurnal and twilight.
They are very expressive animals, which have a large repertoire of sounds they can produce. They are also very intelligent and form very important bonds with people and also with other animals they live with.
Gerbils are the size of hamsters, but they have some differences that allow us to identify them. Most notable are the large, strong hind legs with which they jump and run. If you house them in a terrarium, for example, keep in mind that it can jump and escape.
Also, gerbils like to dig and sleep in burrows. You must take this into account when preparing your cage: you must satisfy your instinct to dig and tunnel for shelter.
Perhaps, of the species of rodent that can be pets, it is the most unknown on this list. Chinchillas are the size of guinea pigs but weigh less: females, which are larger than males, reach 800 grams.
There is only one species of domestic chinchilla , the result of careful genetic selection over generations. Chinchillas that live in freedom cannot survive in captivity and will not be happy being pets.
Chinchillas are characterized by their large round ears and a short, furry tail. They are extremely social animals with people they know, but shy and fearful of strangers. Despite this, caresses and manipulations cause him stress.
Rodents make excellent pets if we respect their instincts and provide them with food or objects that they can gnaw. Each species is unique and has its own characteristics; so if you want to adopt one of these species, first make sure you know it well , so that you two can be happy from day one together.