America's Furry Little Friends: The Most Popular Small Animals to Keep as Pets

America's Furry Little Friends: The Most Popular Small Animals to Keep as Pets

Are you looking for a pet to bring joy and companionship to your home? For a good reason, small animals are becoming increasingly popular pets in the United States. From hamsters to guinea pigs to chinchillas, small animals make great companions that require minimal space and effort to care for. 

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In this blog post, we'll explore some of America's most popular small animals to keep as pets and discuss the best practices for taking care of them. Read on to learn more about these furry little friends!


When choosing a hamster as a pet, it's important to note that several breeds exist. The most common breeds include Syrian (also known as Golden), Dwarf Campbell Russian, Dwarf Winter White Russian, Chinese, Roborovski, and hybrid hamsters. Each breed has its own unique characteristics, so make sure to do your research before selecting one for your family.

As for cage setup, hamsters need plenty of space to roam and explore, so a larger cage is recommended. Providing adequate ventilation by leaving the top open or ensuring the sides are well-ventilated is also essential. 

Line the bottom with absorbent bedding such as shredded paper, straw, or hay. A wheel and plenty of toys should also be included in the cage, as these will keep your hamster entertained and active.

Regarding diet, hamsters are omnivores that need a balanced diet consisting of seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and occasional treats. Grooming-wise, hamsters don't require a lot of grooming aside from occasional brushing and baths, but be sure to use only a tiny amount of shampoo specifically designed for small animals. Fresh water should also always be available. 

Overall, hamsters are great pets for those who want a low-maintenance companion that is fun to watch and interact with. Ensure you have the necessary supplies and understand their needs before bringing one home.

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Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are popular small animals to keep as pets in the United States. They are typically sociable, curious, and friendly - though they can be shy with strangers. The guinea pig might be the perfect companion if you're looking for a small, cuddly pet that loves to play.

These small animals are straightforward to care for and require little maintenance. They only need access to food, water, a clean cage, and plenty of toys and activities. Guinea pigs can also be litter box trained, making them even easier to care for.

Their diet should include fresh vegetables, hay, and specialized guinea pig food. Providing plenty of vitamins and minerals is essential to keep them healthy. They also need regular exercise to have enough room to run around in their cage.

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Several breeds of rabbits are available, so do your research to determine which breed is right for you. Some popular breeds include Lops, Rexes, Netherland Dwarfs, and Lionheads. It's also essential to consider their personality when selecting a breed. For example, some breeds, such as Dutch rabbits, tend to be more active and playful than others, like the Lop-eared.

Regarding diet, a rabbit should be fed fresh hay, leafy greens, and pellets. Avoid feeding them foods high in sugar or fat. Also, rabbits should not be given any human food or treats, which can cause health issues.

Overall, rabbits make excellent pets for those willing to dedicate time to care for them properly. With patience and consistency, you can enjoy the companionship of these furry little friends for years to come!

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If you're looking for a small, entertaining pet full of personality, a mouse could be perfect! Mice make wonderful little companions and require minimal maintenance from their owners. They come in various sizes, colors, and temperaments, so there is an option for everyone. 

Since they are so tiny, they only take up a little space in your home or need much space in your budget. You can usually find them in most pet stores or even online if you do some research. 

Mice are generally very social creatures and don't mind being handled with care, making them great for kids just learning about pet care. Plus, they only need basic food and shelter, like an aquarium or cage with bedding material, so they're pretty easy to care for! 

These furry little friends are a great option if you're looking for an enjoyable and low-maintenance companion.

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Feeding chinchillas is relatively simple, but it is crucial to provide them with a balanced diet that includes hay, chinchilla pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats like dried fruits. 

They also need access to plenty of fresh, clean water. An excellent source of exercise for chinchillas is providing them with an exercise wheel or a particular play area with many climbing stairs. 

Chinchillas are incredibly active animals, so make sure their enclosure has enough room for them to move around. Handling chinchillas gently is vital since they can easily startle and may try to jump out of your arms if they get scared.

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Despite their sharp spines, hedgehogs can make wonderful and gentle pets. They are relatively easy to care for and require minimal space to thrive. A cage or tank should be large enough for them to roam and explore and small enough to feel safe. A minimum size of 4 x 2 feet is recommended for one hedgehog, although larger enclosures are best.

Researching the proper care requirements of hedgehogs before committing to one as a pet is vital. They require special diets, specific temperatures, and regular grooming, which can be time-consuming. However, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can be rewarded with a loyal and affectionate companion who will light up your life with its charm and cuteness.

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Gerbillus family rodents, commonly called gerbils, are some of the most popular small animals to keep as pets in the US. They are active, fun to watch, and can be exceptionally social. 

Gerbils only require little maintenance, making them an ideal pet for people who don't have a lot of time for pet care. Because gerbils are social animals, keeping at least two together is best. It is important to note that same-sex pairs are recommended, as male gerbils will fight if held together.

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Rats make wonderful pets that can develop strong bonds with their owners. They are curious, active, and full of personality. It's essential to provide them with a stimulating environment, such as cages with plenty of hiding spots and toys to keep them entertained. As long as you dedicate the time needed to care for them, they can make great additions to your family. 

Rats also require access to fresh water daily, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. In addition, weekly cage cleanings are essential for proper hygiene and rodent health.

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Sugar Gliders

These little marsupials have long tails that help them glide through the air, earning their name. They are social animals and love spending time with their owners. Their diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables, plus a special sugar glider diet you can buy from your local pet store. 

Sugar gliders are very active at night and make great pets for someone who enjoys staying late. If you decide to get one as a pet, it's important to remember they need companionship to stay healthy. This means getting two or more of them.

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Skunks (yes, skunks!)

Skunks may not be the first pet to mind, but they can make a surprisingly sweet companion for a more experienced owner. Despite their reputation for being smelly, skunks are known for being relatively clean animals and can be litter box trained just like cats. 

Skunks also require a lot of attention, so you should be prepared to spend quality time with your skunk if you want them to be happy. 

However, there are some drawbacks to owning a skunk as a pet, such as potential legal issues in some areas. Before bringing a skunk into your home, you should always check with local laws and regulations. 

Additionally, skunks have unique dietary needs that require special attention and research. For this reason, speaking with an experienced vet before adopting a skunk is essential to ensure you provide the best possible care for your new pet.

Contrary to popular belief, skunks can learn a few tricks, such as roll over and fetch!

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Johan Blom

Blogger who urges to discover exciting and beautiful things in the world and life!

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