Choosing A Small Family Pet

If you’re thinking of buying a small pet, how do you know which one would be best for your family? Some love human interaction and will happily play for hours, but others prefer to stay in their own environment where they feel safe.

Rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters are all very popular as small family pets – here are a few pointers to help you decide.

Rabbits

Rabbits can make great family pets but they’re easily startled by loud noises and sudden movement. They’re very entertaining to watch and can have charming personalities, but owning a rabbit is a long-term commitment as they can live for up to 12 years.

Hamsters

Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, and although very playful when awake they may not be the best pet if you and your family are expecting lots of daytime interaction and entertainment.

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are very gentle creatures by nature and they thrive if they’re with others of their own kind. Buying more than one guinea pig may be a good idea, therefore, but you need to make sure that you either buy two females or a pair where the males are neutered.

Buying a pet is a huge responsibility regardless of size. One of the most important considerations is to go to a trustworthy breeder who takes time to explain the care that’s required and makes sure you understand the commitment you’re making.

www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-long-do-rabbits-live

www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/choosing-right-small-pet

www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/guineapigs/company