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Choosing the Perfect Small Pet – Take the Quiz

IMG_6176Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect pet. They all look so cute sleeping in their hammocks, running in their wheels, or just snuggling with pals. So which critter should you take home from the pet store? The questions in this short fun quiz should help give you an idea of your small pet personality match, but remember to do additional research before making the final decision! You’ll find the best pets to suit your lifestyle in the answers section below.

1.) During my days off, you can often find me ____.

a.) Hanging out at home – whether it’s to finish the laundry or catch up on all my recorded shows!

b.) Away on a mini vacation with the family. See you Monday!

c.) Having a bunch of friends over for a cook-out. The more the merrier!

2.) How much time do I want to spend grooming my pet?

a.) As little time as possible

b.) I don’t mind a little brushing here and there

c.) I could start my own pet salon with the time I will spend grooming!

3.) How many animals do I want?

a.) Just one will do

b.) A pair of pals

c.) A whole family!

4.) I will get around to cleaning my pet’s cage ____ times a week.

a.) 1-2

b.) 2-3

c.) 5-7

5.) I prefer to _____ my pet!

a.) Cuddle with

b.) Play with

c.) Just watch

d.) Do a little of everything

IMG_3001Answers

Question 1

a.) If you’re home a lot, you can spend a lot of time playing with or just watching your pets play outside the confines of their cages. Think about ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, or rats. These animals love interacting with their owners!

b.) If you prefer to spend as much time away from home as possible, a highly social or active animal may not be a good choice. Think about hamsters, gerbils, or chinchillas. These little guys do well without a lot of handling, but always be sure there is plenty of food and water.

c.) Have a big family or like to have lots of parties? Think about animals that are not bothered by a lot of noise and are not spooked by kids and strangers. The social ferret will want to join in the festivities while sensitive critters like rabbits and guinea pigs won’t appreciate a lot of ruckus! Then again, keeping the pet’s cage in a private room where guests or unattended children will not be entering works well for any small pet.

Question 2

a.) Hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice are very good at keeping themselves clean, so you will not need to brush or bathe them. They also generally will not need their nails clipped since they spend a lot of time wearing them down by digging. You can, however, offer a dust bath once and a while to hamsters and gerbils now and then!

b.) If you don’t mind the occasional grooming session, most short haired rabbits and guinea pigs will need to be brushed once a week or so to remove dead hair and knots. However, if your breed of guinea pig or rabbit has long hair, you will need to do this more often. Chinchillas need no more than a roll in the dust once or twice a week to keep clean. Rabbits and guinea pigs usually need a nail trimming once a month.

c.) If you love nothing more than pampering your pet, a long haired breed of guinea pig or rabbit will require daily brushing to keep knots from building up as well as monthly nail trimming. Ferrets will need to have their ears cleaned and nails clipped once every two weeks, and can be bathed once a month if their body oil buildup becomes too smelly to handle.

Question 3

a.) Animals that do well housed alone include hamsters, chinchillas, and rabbits, but remember they will still need attention from you and plenty of toys and activities to keep busy.

b.) Chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs do well in pairs but remember to get two of the same sex animal or have your animals spayed or neutered before introducing them to prevent unwanted litters. It is usually a good idea to buy pairs of animals at the same time so they can grow up already accustomed to each other.

c.) Gerbils love company! In the wild they live in small groups dominated by one female. If you opt for gerbils, think about getting males as they do not fight for dominance as much as females do. Guinea pigs also live in groups, but females tend to get along better than males do. Rabbits in the wild will live in groups until the breeding season, when the males will fight for mating rights and the females will fight for nesting areas. If you keep bunnies, be sure to spay and neuter them to eliminate these behaviors. Rats and mice live in huge colonies together in the wild, and as long as there is ample food and space, should get along well in groups at home.

IMG_3686Question 4

a.) Small rodents, like hamsters, mice, gerbils, and rats are clean and generally do not need to have their cage totally cleaned more than once or twice a week. Remember, the more animals you keep, the more they will need their cage cleaned.

b.) Guinea pigs, rabbits, and chinchillas have constantly moving digestive systems, so you can imagine the amount of poop they make in a week! If you scoop or dump their cage pans every few days and scrub the entire thing once a week, smells and bacteria will not take over your life.

c.) Ferrets are known for being messy, and they poop a LOT. Once you get them trained, their litter pans will need to be cleaned every day or every other day and the toys, towels, and hammocks will need thrown in the laundry or the smell from their body oils will build up. Along with their grooming, if you keep up on this chore it will become a trivial task, but put it off for too long and P.U.! No one wants to spend all day scrubbing cages. If you are diligent, you won’t have to!

Question 5

a.) You can’t get any cuddlier than a rabbit or guinea pig!

b.) Ferrets and rats will go crazy for playtime…literally!

c.) Hamsters, mice, chinchillas and gerbils can entertain themselves while you watch.

d.) There is a fourth category reserved here just for….everybody! Most animals will benefit from a bit of cuddling, a bit of playtime, and a bit of just being left alone, and it will depend on the personality of your individual animal. Remember that no animal perfectly fits the mold for what the general temperament is for its species. I’ve seen social hamsters and shy ferrets. I’ve seen solitary gerbils and mellow guinea pigs. Try out all of the above activities with your pet and see what he or she prefers. Read your pet’s body language and act accordingly, and do not be offended if your normally cuddly rabbit decides he doesn’t want to be picked up today. Just watch him for now. If your ferret is all tuckered out from playing, engage in a cuddle session! Whatever pet you choose, if you respect his or her boundaries, the relationship between you will flourish!

12 comments

  1. avatar

    Great Quiz! Gets people to think about the responsibilities of pet ownership before buying.

  2. avatar

    I am suggested a guinea pig! I already have two, I just wanted to make sure they were perfect for me. (I already knew they were perfect for me, but I wanted to see what im getting next…. guinea pigs!) I’m a serious guinea girl 😛

  3. avatar

    Thanks

  4. avatar

    wow i’m perfect for a……….. FERRET! :|) I have always wanted one!!!!!!

  5. avatar

    I’m perfect for a guinea pig

  6. avatar

    Perfect for a Guniea Pig always wanted one and I’m also perfect for a Bunnie rabbit

  7. avatar

    Hi great quiz! I have decided to ask for a rabbit! (Maybe 2!) Anyway, thx for helping me decide!!

  8. avatar

    I’m best for a gerbil I did want a chinchilla but they need space to run and I’ve got a dog and puppy so hopefully my mum and dad could get me two gerbils and I could breed them so they can pay for their up keep!

  9. avatar

    I am either a bunny or hamster person.. can’t decide!!!!!

  10. avatar

    You can always be both 🙂

  11. avatar

    I’m perfect for a Guinea pig and I’ve been wanting one for so long how ironic. 😀

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About jeppley

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Jess has been an employee at That Fish Place/That Pet Place since 2005, stationed in both the Reptile and Small Animal rooms. She specializes in small animal care, and focuses particularly on rats, giving her the nickname of “The Rat Girl” by her customers and fellow employees. She has an Associate degree in Liberal Arts from Penn State York and is currently attending English courses online at University of Maryland University College. Her passion has always been animals and she has owned just about every variety of them, including cats, birds, reptiles, rodents, and even millipedes! She also loves writing and is working on publishing a series of young adult fantasy novels.
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