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Keeping Rodents as Pets

By Joshua Simms TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

Rodents make good pets. Not only are they small and easy to manage, they are also fun to watch and are typically hassle-free. While some people associate rodents with dark, dirty, and scary sewer rats, you'll find that there are lots of cute and furry rodents that would make perfect companions for people of all ages.

The good thing about rodents is that they are pretty small. This means that you don't need too much to keep them in your home. Also they are low maintenance. You can put them in their cage, play with them a bit, and leave them some food and they will typically take care of themselves.

Below is a list of the most common rodent pets you might consider for your household pet.

1. Hamsters-hamsters are not very long-lived rodents. They do, however, live an average of two to three years. You will need large enough cages for hamsters since they are very active. They can also be kept single, without the need for cage mates. They're pretty agreeable especially if you handle them from the time they are very young. They can become grumpy and defensive however, especially if you wake them during the day (they are nocturnal animals).

2. Gerbils - gerbils also live up to three years. They have a furry tail that makes up about half its size. They are also very social rodents so it would be great if you purchase them in pairs. You may want to buy same-sex gerbils however, as they could rapidly procreate if left alone. They have very agreeable temperaments, but you have to refrain from holding them by the tail.

3. Mice-mice are short-lived rodents. They only live for about one to three years. They are also very fun to watch, but due to their skittish nature, they may be very hard to handle out of the cage. They don't typically need too much room to live in. However, being social creatures, you'll have to buy them in pairs-just remember to keep them of the same-sex so they don't procreate uncontrollably.

4. Guinea pigs- guinea pigs are the longest lived of the here mentioned rodents. You could keep a guinea pig for about five years. They are also very gentle in nature, and aren't averse to handling. The truth is they won't bite even when agitated. They are pretty big, so you will need to give them enough cage space. They are social creatures, so you'll need to keep them in pairs. You also have to supply them with an adequate supply of vegetables and vitamin C.

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Learn about pet lizards and basilisk lizard at the Lizard Care site.

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