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  #31  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:33 PM
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Nope sorry, gerbils, rabbits, and others require way less than a dog. A dog is a pretty high maintenance animal. Most need one on one attention and long walks, etc. A guinea pig does not. Even when you let them out for exercise they are basically self-exercising.

You say the dog and guinea pig would be equally unhappy confined. I disagree. Dogs are flat out more intelligent and of course that affects their stimulation requirements. When animals are stressed/bored/chronically unhappy they tend to develop stereotypies. I know I've caged rabbits for longer than 24 hours and the rabbits show 0 signs of distress. When you let them out in the pen they act normally. Put my dog in a cage of equivalent size for 24 hours and I promise you he'd be going insane. Let him out and he'd be even more insane.

Parrots self mutilate, horses crib, rats chew bars, leopards pace etc. Go look at videos of foxes and mink at fur farms and the animals are neurotic. Then go look at videos of rabbits farms and see if you can identify any stereotypies or anything at all that indicates stress from confinement. Though you probably wouldn't see it but I imagine some would chew or pull at bars. But nothing like the incessant pacing, self mutilating or neurosis you see in the aforementioned animals. I do think all animals have a threshold for when they become uncomfortable due to boredom or confinement. But I think some animals e.g. dogs have a much lower threshold than other animals.
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  #32  
Old 05-15-2012, 10:44 PM
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Yes, I agree that not all small animals are going to be as high maintenance as a dog. My dwarf hamster stays in his cage 24/7 (except when I clean it), I refill his food dish every few days, change his water bottle once a week or so, clean his cage every week or so...he's a very fat, happy hamster. LOL He has lots of toys, a big cage, a wheel, a dust bath, and a few different hidey houses and he gets along just fine. A dog is obviously higher maintenance than he is. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have criteria that must be met for him to stay happy. A hamster shouldn't be kept in a tiny little cage without any stimulation any more than a dog should be kept in a crate 24/7.

I think the argument for "just as high maintenance as a dog" focuses more on the "exotic" pets. Having a ferret is like having a kitten on crack that isn't 100% litterbox trained. Many people don't realize this. They think, "Oh, ferret, pocket pet, caged animal, I'll care for it like I did my hamster back in the day." No, not the case at all.

I've owned quite a few different species of animals...I now realize I can't handle birds or fish. Both of those, to me, require much more maintenance than my dogs ever did. Or maybe I get less satisfaction out of them for the work I put in them, I don't know.
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  #33  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
They think, "Oh, ferret, pocket pet, caged animal, I'll care for it like I did my hamster back in the day." No, not the case at all.
Which is idiotic. It's a weasel. As in, mischievous slinky thing that whips around burrows killing other animals and getting into chicken coops and such. I guess people aren't very good at making these connections but totally not pocket pet material (meant for those who have graduated to keeping pets loose in their trousers I guess ).
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  #34  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Xandra View Post
Which is idiotic. It's a weasel. As in, mischievous slinky thing that whips around burrows killing other animals and getting into chicken coops and such. I guess people aren't very good at making these connections but totally not pocket pet material (meant for those who have graduated to keeping pets loose in their trousers I guess ).


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  #35  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:27 PM
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Ha ha... it would be nice to have something like a ferret to flush rats out from the hay/wood storage area but I've read ferrets don't do so well with rats and I wouldn't want one horribly bitten. (and thank you so much for the offer but at this point I have little interest in a ballistic housepet )
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  #36  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:51 PM
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Fish kept in bowls and other unsuitable containers bother me quite a bit.

I will say that my ~25 fish are muchmuchmuchmuch less work in their 55gal tank than my one Elsie is, though.

I understand other small pets would be different though. Guppies aren't exactly high maintenance.
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  #37  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:04 AM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Originally Posted by Xandra View Post
Ha ha... it would be nice to have something like a ferret to flush rats out from the hay/wood storage area but I've read ferrets don't do so well with rats and I wouldn't want one horribly bitten. (and thank you so much for the offer but at this point I have little interest in a ballistic housepet )
Well... you wouldn't have to worry about *finding* one bitten... you just wouldn't *find* one.
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  #38  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:17 AM
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I think if you hunt with them you're supposed to get a little gps/radio collar thing. Also I think the gist of what I read was the ferrets weren't being killed by the rats but hurt frequently enough that they lost interest in rats.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:38 AM
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I think the thing with little pets is they are far more often impulse purchases (often for children) and people don't research further than what the petstore people tell them. Some small animals, like ferrets are not all that well suited to life as a house pet anyway and that can makes them much higher maintenance and more expensive than people would ever realize. What I think often happens with small pets is that the "rewards" owners get from them are pretty minimal compared to the effort required to properly care for them. Dogs require a lot more effort than most small pets but because they are part of the household, wandering around and interacting throughout the day there tends to be a much stronger bond to them with many people so the work required with them is more proportionate to what the owner gets in return. It is similar with cats. But an animal like a Chinchilla....they're fun and interesting to watch but they are not as interactive with their owners as dogs. Yet you will still spend hours cleaning their cage, feeding them, "taming", etc. There is a reason many of these pets aren't mainstream pets. I'm not at all saying that is a reason to not properly care for an animal or research prior to getting one. But i think it really plays into what goes on with many small pets.
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  #40  
Old 05-16-2012, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
I would definitely agree that not ALL small animals are going to require more time than a dog, it is just going to depend on the type of animal and the particular animal in question.
I agree.

With dogs, they're constantly around you so it's just... easier to give them attention. When I'm sitting on the couch watching TV, the dogs will all hang out with me. They are definitely more needy... 15 hours of crate time would be VERY hard on my dogs, whereas some small pets are fine staying in their cages for 24 hours a day.

I just don't think it's unreasonable to get a small pet and give them the care they NEED. Get them a proper sized cage. Interact with them for the amount of time they should have. Feed them what they should eat. It's not hard. If you want the pet, give them what is best for them, or don't get them.

With small animals, though, there seems to be a consensus with the public that they don't need much of anything. Guinea pigs are fine being stuffed in 2ft long cages. Rats are fine in aquariums without much contact with humans. Bettas can live in cups. Go spend 5 minutes browsing on Craigslist or Kijiji and see what the "rehome" pet cages/aquariums look like.

And then there are the people who will let their small pets suffer and die a prolonged, painful death because "they don't need to go to a vet." I don't care how small or how cheap that pet cost- if they are suffering, please at least have them euthanized (or do it yourself humanely if you know how).
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