Often referred to as ‘pocket pets’, rodents can make great companions for you and your family. However, before adopting your new furry friend, it’s important to consider that although these guys are often regarded as ‘low maintenance’, they do require attention, commitment, dedication and love to ensure their health and happiness. Here are a few things you should consider before getting cosy with a rat or mouse…

Choosing your pet rodent

Like any pet, it’s important to match the needs of your rodent to your lifestyle, ensuring that they can be met without exception. Consider the following aspects when choosing your furry friend;

  • Size – do you have the space for it in your home, or the space to provide an enclosure big enough for it to comfortably live?
  • Temperament – do you want something that is friendly and likes human contact, or something that is more independent and prefers to keep to themselves? It’s important to understand the nature of the animal you’re choosing so that your interactions with it are suited to what it wants and needs.
  • Activity level – Rodents vary in terms of how active they are, so it’s important to pair the amount of time and space you have with their needs. It’s crucial that you research this information and ensure that you have the capacity to accommodate for these requirements if you choose to adopt one.

Providing appropriate housing

Before you commit to a pet rodent, ensure that you have the means to provide it with a comfortable place to live. You will need to invest in a cage or enclosure appropriate for its breed and needs. One of the most important factors to take into account its size – rats and mice will require relatively small spaces, however if you decide on a bigger pet rodent, they will need a bit more space to wander around their home.

Diet

Do some research on the dietary needs of your potential new pet before taking it in. This allows you to understand the essential components of their diet, ensuring that you are always able to provide them with the foods they need to thrive.

Cleaning and upkeep

While most rodents are relatively low maintenance, they do tend to excrete a large amount of urine and faeces and require their bedding to be cleaned out multiple times per week. Failure to do this will make your pet sick and unhappy, which is why it’s absolutely crucial that you commit to this task before you bring your rodent home.