Guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other small mammals are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Owning a small mammal can be both exciting and rewarding. Despite often being considered children’s pets, these animals require diligent care, including proper hygiene and specific dietary needs to stay healthy. The more time you invest in your furry friend, the more their unique personality will shine through. Many small mammals are now kept indoors and spend considerable time interacting with their owners.

Thinking about becoming a small mammal owner? It’s crucial to thoroughly research your prospective pet’s needs before making a commitment.


Different species have varying lifespans. For example, mice and rats typically live 1-3 years, whereas chinchillas can live for 15 years or more!


Providing the right environment and ensuring regular exercise are essential for your pet’s well-being. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate the size and type of pet you choose. This includes creating a safe area for your new pet to explore.


Regular exercise is a must for all small mammals. Most thrive when given time outside their cage daily. Without adequate exercise and a suitable environment, your pet may develop behavioral and health issues.


Some small mammals are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night and sleep during the day. Research each species carefully to determine if a nocturnal pet might disrupt your household.

Other Pets

Consider how your current pets will react to a new small mammal. Does your dog or cat have a strong prey drive? Do you already have small mammals that might not get along with a new companion? Ensure you have the means to keep your pets separated if necessary.

After bringing your new pet home, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Buckeystown Veterinary Hospital within two weeks. This initial visit ensures your pet is healthy and provides an opportunity to discuss their nutritional and environmental needs. Following this, an annual exam is advised to detect any issues early, as small mammals often hide signs of illness.

These pets can make wonderful companions! If you have any questions about caring for your small mammal, please don’t hesitate to call us or schedule an appointment with your Buckeystown vet today.