Although there are a ton of small animals in the world, the term "small pet" normally refers to small mammals like guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas and rats. They're often considered "starter pets," and can help teach young children responsible care for pets. However, they require some thought before purchasing.
We talked with veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber to find out what potential owners should keep in mind before bringing a small pet home.
According to Werber, space restrictions often make small pets the best choice for owners and their families. "Even places that won't allow pets will usually allow small pets since they are kept in an enclosure," said Werber. Not only that, small pets aren't usually as dependent on daily interaction and cuddling, so they may be an ideal choice if you don't have a lot of time.
Keep in mind, though, that the limited interactivity of small pets may pose a problem to some potential owners. "They aren't always amenable to being handled," explained Werber, and they sometimes bite when startled. If you need a lot of cuddle time with a pet, a small pet may not be the best choice.
If your space restrictions and interactivity needs appear to match up with what small pets can offer, Werber said it's a great idea to go full steam ahead. Here are his suggestions:
Once you make a selection, Werber said to finish doing your research. "Check online, or visit a complete pet store to help you get set up with the right environment and get any recommended supplements or accessories," he said. Purchase an adequate environment for the pet of your choice, like the 22-inch by 16-inch National Geographic Exploration Loft. Finally, Werber added, "Verify that the pet you're considering is legal in your state and municipality."
This post was sponsored by PetSmart.
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