Small Furries

These are pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, degus, gerbils, ferrets or chinchillas

Environment

a suitable living environment

Diet

a suitable diet

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

1

Environment

a suitable living environment

2

Diet

a suitable diet

3

Behaviour

to be able to behave normally

4

Companionship

to have appropriate companionship

5

Health

to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Did you know?

Chinchillas can live for up to 20 years. So be prepared for a long-term relationship with your new pet! It’s important to know how long you can expect to have your new pet because life expectancy varies greatly among this range of pets. They are often considered good pets for children but as small furries are prey species they can find being picked up stressful. Most also should not be kept by themselves because they need company – but be sure of their sex or you might find you have more of them than you wanted!

Check before you buy

Research before you buy

Be sure you fully understand and fully appreciate the needs of the animal you are interested in, for example some small furries are more active at night and may not suit your lifestyle. Make sure you will be able to afford to meet the costs for the lifetime of the animal. Often people see small furries as cheap family pets, however they have very complex needs and meeting them requires time and commitment.

Consider contacting your local animal rescue/rehoming centre

Seek advice from reputable pet shops, breeders, vets, animal welfare organisations, rescue centres, books and websites

There might be local interest groups that could help too and your local veterinary practice may be able to recommend suitable rescue centres or breeders.

Ensure you know what equipment you’ll need to make your pet at home, including providing them with sufficient space to get plenty of exercise and hide away when they need some quiet

As active animals these pets will need a large cage, as well as supervised time outside of their cage to help meet their needs. Plenty of toys and other enrichment, as well as the correct bedding and nesting materials will be needed.

Ensure you buy from someone who specialises in the animal you are interested in

The seller should be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with information about the needs of the species you are buying.

Visit the animal you are intending to buy

Make sure you visit the animal in its current home, check the environment is clean and its welfare needs are being met. The animal should be bright, alert and looks to be in good health. 

If you are buying an accommodation set-up with your new pet check that it is clean, supplied with the appropriate food and water receptacles

Whilst some animals may be sold with starter kit accommodation it is important to note that it is unlikely this will meet the lifetime needs of your pet.

Register your new pet with a vet as soon as possible and book them in for regular health checks