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Adopting a small mammal as a pet into our home requires prior consideration of something as important as the entry of a living being into our daily environment, a situation that must be valued by all family members with total and absolute responsibility. Here we are going to talk about the aspects to take into account before a furry little small mammal comes to live with us.
Although these unique animals do not require daily walks, such as the dog friend, or significant outlays of money, the entry into the home of any of the small mammal species should be studied with great calm, without haste, and should be a decision agreed on by all the members of the family: who will be responsible for cleaning the cage? Who is responsible for the animals’ food and water? What do we do with the animal on vacation?
A small mammal can become one of the best pets, but we should not expect from them the same as other pets. You can’t expect a Guinea Pig or Hamster to lay peacefully at our feet, or a chinchilla frantically waging its tail on our arrival home …
The signs of affection of small mammals are not their main strength, but there are many other reasons that can lead us to bringing them into our lives.
In the decision for the species of small mammal to which we must choose, we must keep in mind the following points:
We must insist that the decision to acquire a pet must be accepted by all the members of the family … by all! There are too many occasions when a companion animal enters a house after the undeniable crying and the “emotional coercion” of a child. If a pet is going to enter our home, all members of the family must agree.
How much money will the feeding of a dwarf rabbit cost me annually ? What budget will I have to allocate for visits to the vet with my chinchilla? How much does the bed of my hamster’s cage cost me a month ?
Although in the case of small mammals we can say without fear of making mistakes that the budget necessary to take care of them is within the reach of most pockets, this statement should not make us forget that expenses, however small, exist.
Pets are not kept alone, they do not live on air. All expenses, small or large, will directly affect our pocket.
Before deciding on one or the other animal, we must keep in mind our daily routine, our work or student responsibilities, our hobbies, our vacations … our lifestyle in short. The chosen pet should be linked in the family structure without having to change or reorganize all the schedules.
Each type of pet requires our time to a greater or lesser degree. A few moments, or a few hours depends on the needs of each species.
When considering the adoption of a pet we are all convinced that we will meet the hourly needs of our friends to the letter. We do not even consider that the most insignificant routine, the simplest daily or weekly obligation, can end the patience of anyone.
In the case of these small furry ones there are few differences between the time that we must devote to the care of one or the other species. If we put ourselves in the extremes, there are minimal differences between the time we have to devote to the care of a small mouse, and the time we need to devote to the needs a rabbit .
The space necessary for a pet is that which allows the development of physiological and ethological activities in a natural way.
What is this? Very easy. The physiological activities are those that refer to food, rest, hygiene, reproduction and expulsion of excrement. The ethological needs are those related to the behavior of the animal: its way of being, its customs, its needs for relationship and interaction with other living beings of its same or different species.
Therefore, what space does a small mammal need ?
As a basic rule we must take into account that the entry of one of these animals into the house will require a space for us to arrange the animal’s cage. In the case of a small rodent, the cage will not cause us the slightest problem, nor will it require a redistribution of the decoration of any of the rooms in our organized house.
In the case of larger mammals such as rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs … the cages, being larger, can cause some location problems and require some slight restructuring in the placement of furniture in a room.
It is evident that before acquiring one or the other animal, we must take into account which is the most suitable cage and what space this new element needs for its definitive location in our home.
All of the points mentioned above will be fully favored, in one way or another, if we rely on the advice of a veterinarian or qualified animal professional.
Let’s not miss the opportunity to get the decision right, for this we propose that we will not incorporate our little mammal into the home until we consult the situation with at least one of these professionals, and if it is possible to get more opinions within this team of experts in the field … the more than better!