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Can't decide what pet to get.

(3 Posts)
CannotGuaranteeNitFree Fri 31-Oct-14 17:04:17

DD (almost 13) is desperate for a pet. We had guinea pigs and lost our last one around a year ago. I've been putting her off for a while because of various things eg trips abroad, house decorating, but the time has come!

Problem is we're torn over what to get.

Her first choice would be a dog, but I have vetoed that because we are both out of the house all day.

My first choice would be a cat, but I had to rehome my beloved baby substitutes when DD was 2 because she was allergic and had bad asthma. I wouldn't want to risk getting a cat and then having to find another home for it if she didn't get used to it, and I'm not sure if living with an animal you're allergic to is that great for health anyway.

She is also very allergic to rabbits so they are out.

Her stepsister has rats at her dad's house, and their tails freak DD out!

We enjoyed having the GPs but I was too soft to put them outside (we live in the grim north in a very exposed spot and it is bloody freezing!). They made the house smell and took up loads of space.

So we're thinking hamster, gerbil, maybe degu or chinchilla (not sure how expensive or smelly they are). Any tips on which ones are more interactive and fun? And preferably non-smelly?

Or any other bright ideas welcome.

PixieofCatan Sun 02-Nov-14 14:27:56

If you want interactive and fun, I'd say rats (from an NFRS breeder) over other rodents tbh, they're brilliant pets. They're very interactive, require a lot of time out of the cage and with their owner, they can be taught tricks and they're essentially like mini dogs.

Though I don't understand the tails thing, their tails are amazing, one of mine wags his when he gets excited, it's very funny. Gerbils and other rodents also have tails that are similar so they'd probably also be out if it's something that really bothers her.

When we were looking for a house pet I saw somebody suggest rats after looking up house rabbits, and then started watching videos like this one which turned me into an instant rat fan!

PixieofCatan Sun 02-Nov-14 14:40:42

Also, RE space, unless you get a hamster or gerbil, rodents cages will take up a lot of space, especially larger rodents. Chinchillas need quite big cages, as do ferrets, degus and rats. I think for all bigger rodents, 2-2.5 cubic ft per creature is a minimum, with the view that as big as you can get is better.

I can link you to a site that sells big cages at decent prices if/when you decide what you want, but you'll have to research the suitability of the cages when buying as the site gets it very wrong with regard saying some things are suitable for rats which aren't, but when you look into the requirements for the animal you want you'll get a better idea as to what you need.

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