6 Best Small Pets to Consider for Your Child - Parents Magazine

Food needs to be kept available at all times. Laboratory pellets (Lab Blox, Rodent Chow, Pet Blocks, etc.) are the best basic main diet. You can find them in pet shops or feed stores bagged in small quantities. There are now many places on the Internet that sell the lab-qualityformulas, e.g. the Harlan Teklad 2018 formula is sold online as “NativeEarth 4018.” Also, AFRMA sells lab blocks at our shows and on our online. If you are unable to get lab pellets (you may have to ask the store owner or manager if they can get them if not normally stocked), then a high quality dog food (not over 8% fat content) from the pet shop/feed store such as Nutro, Science Diet, Iams, etc., fed equally with a rat/mouse grain mixture is a good substitute. Complement either diet with small amounts of salad greens (clean, freshly washed, non-contaminated or sprayed; rats love kale, and dandelion leaves can be a treat for mice), fresh fruits (rats love bananas, also avocado given in small amounts) and vegetables (raw broccoli and corn-on-the-cob are a favorite with rats) (NOTE: any fresh foods should be washed when necessary), and whole wheat bread. Be sure to clean out any uneaten fresh foods the next day. Be sparing with oily seeds, nuts, and grain mixes. Dry cat food should only be given to growing youngsters or nursing mothers because of the high fat and protein content. DO NOT give your pet treats such as candy (chocolate can’t be digested by rats), cookies, potato chips, or other junk food. Treats such as dry, healthy, low-sugar cereals (Cheerios, puffed wheat/rice/millet, spoon-size shredded wheat, etc.), plain popcorn, wild bird seed, dry oatmeal, occasional table scraps such as veggies, salad, spaghetti, etc., are okay and will be eagerly devoured by your pet. Do not feed your pet through the screen top of the cage (if the screen is large enough to do this),or if you use wire rat cages, through the bars of the cages,as they will learn that things poked in are food and grab anything poked in including your finger.

Wish | Best Pet Rodent Mice Jogging Exercise Ball Hamster Gerbil Rat Play Small Plastic Toy

It's best to house pet rodents individually because this prevents problems such as aggressiveness, unwanted breeding, and cannibalism of the young. If it's neccessaryto put more than one rodent in the same enclosure, keep the following in mind:

Popular Small Pets | Animal Planet

best Pet Rodent Mice Jogging Hamster Gerbil Rat Play Toy Plastic Exercise Small Ball Assessing pain in animals, is similar to assessing pain in human babies, and relies on the observations of technicians, owners, and veterinarians. A notable drawback is observer variability and the interpretation as to whether an animal is in pain or distress. Knowledge of clinical signs associated with pain potentially provides an objective, rather than a subjective judgment. However, for such signs to be effective observers must have good powers of observation and knowledge of what is normal for the individual animal species. Rats and mice in pain may show decreased food and water consumption, weight loss, self-imposed isolation, self-mutilation and gnawing at limbs; rapid breathing, open-mouth breathing and abdominal breathing; increased or decreased movement; unkempt appearance such as a dirty, greasy or dull hair coat; abnormal posture such as a hunched back; dehydration, skin tenting and sunken eyes; twitching and trembling; and familiar signs such as redness or swelling around a wound or lesion. Recognizing distress is more difficult. The presence of disease, self mutilation, abnormal behavior, or failure to grow are obvious indicators of distress. However, we do not have simple, definitive measures of distress, and we believe the best approach is to use one’s intuition and sensitivity. Ideally, we should have an empathetic attitude and base our evaluation on critical anthropomorphism (25). A good strategy for assessment of pain and distress is to involve everyone involved with the pet rodent, as each person will bring a different focus to bear: owners “know” their animals and veterinarians possess clinical skills. Technicians are crucial in this identification because they know the biology of the species, including its relevant behavioral and physiologic responses. Furthermore, technicians are most likely to know when a hospitalized animal is “not right” and are likely to pick up changes in behavior, posture, appearance, or even the feel of the animal.

Selecting the small pet that's right for your home is no small feat

Smaller mammals, including hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils, are relatively easy to raise. Most will thrive in a relatively small living space, and require fairly rudimentary care. Except for hamsters, which are solitary, it’s best to obtain young same-sex pairs. Regular, gentle handling promotes friendliness, but bites are possible should rodents feel threatened (especially hamsters). Surprisingly, rats make excellent pets due to their intelligence, larger size, and enjoyment of human companionship. Guinea pigs are also excellent kid-friendly pets.

Best For: Children of any age; a great "starter" pet.