The 6 Best Small Pets

Hamsters make cute and funny small pets
Pets don't have to be the size of a Great Dane. In fact small pets can are ideal for allergy sufferers, people with limited space for a pet, or for children as a first pet. Here is pet specialist PetStreetMall's pick of the best 6 small pets:

Hooray for Hamsters
Cute, furry little hamsters are friendly and inquisitive pets. Hamsters don't demand attention and are quite happy to entertain themselves so they are easy to care for. Syrian hamsters are solitary creatures so you only need get one, however hamsters are nocturnal so they might not be around much during the day and they have a short lifespan (3 years). Good for age 8+.

Rely on a Rabbit
Rabbits are sociable creatures who adapt well to living with humans. Rabbits can also be trained to come when called and use litter boxes, and of course their floppy ears and velvet-soft fur is perfect for petting. Rabbits also have a long lifespan (7-10 years) but they do need a lot of exercise so they aren't maintenance-free. Good for age 8+.

Make Friends with a Ferret
Playful and energetic, ferrets can be a lot of fun but this also means they require lots of supervision when out of the cage. A long lifespan (7-10 years) means a ferret will be your friend for a long time, although they can be wary around strangers. Great personalities but higher maintenance. Good for age 12+.

Guinea Pigs are perfect 'first pets' for younger children
Go for a Guinea Pig
The largest of the small pets, Guinea Pigs are very sociable with humans. Considered the friendliest of all the rodent family, they are excellent for young children as a first pet. Guinea Pigs are pack animals so you will need at least two and if you get longhaired species grooming will be necessary. Needs plenty of exercise and has a medium lifespan (5 to 7 years). Good for age 5+.

Cherish a Chinchilla
The softest of all the small pets, a chinchilla's fur is heavenly to the touch, however they are not keen on being held so be content to watch them for much of the time. Doesn't need a companion if it receives plenty of attention from the family, but should have one if left alone for periods of time. Long lifespan (can be over 10 years) and is very easy to care for. Good for ages 8+.

Get a Gerbil
Fun and friendly, gerbils are among the cleanest of the small pets so maintenance is minimal. Easily amused, the gerbil doesn't need constant human company but they do like a gerbil companion. Gerbils like to be held but they are small and need careful handling and their lifespan is short (3-4 years). Good for ages 8+.

Caring for a Small Pet
Small pets don't need much in the way of maintenance, but there are some essentials when caring for your little friend.

A chinchilla enjoying a dust bath

The Critter Nation cage has plenty of room to let small pets roam around
Dust Baths - Gerbils and chinchillas need a dust bath once or twice a week. Regular sand or powder might look the same but only use purpose-produced chinchilla/gerbil dust because this will properly penetrate down to the animal's skin level.
Straw - Some small pets (chinchillas, Guinea pigs) need fresh hay. This is readily available from pet stores but might be problematic for allergy sufferers.
Sizeable Cage - Even the smallest pet still needs plenty of room to roam. The larger the cage the happier the pets and one of the most spacious on the market is the Critter Nation. Critter Nation is also well accessorized.
Chew Items - Rodents are natural gnawers because their teeth never cease growing. If you don't want to find small holes in the furniture you'll need to supply objects for small pets to chew. This will also keep their teeth well-trimmed.
By John Bone
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