Big Love in Small Packages

Meet Bug, a 1-year-old mouse at Seattle Humane!
Meet Bug, a 1-year-old mouse at Seattle Humane!

Thinking about adding a new furry friend to your family but want to start small? Or perhaps you’ve never considered a critter such as a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster because they don’t seem to have the personalities of dogs and cats? We’re here to dispel some common critter myths and offer some fun insights as to why big love really can come in a small pet package!

Myth #1: Small animals are boring. Not so! Critters – in particular, rabbits, guinea pigs and even rats – are highly social animals. They thrive when they have a friend to spend part of the day with – whether that is you, their caretaker, or a fellow critter. Often a rabbit will do a kind of “happy dance,” which involves jumping, twisting and turning in the air.

Myth #2: Small animals aren’t as intelligent, and I can’t interact with them as much. Many critters, in addition to being highly sociable, are bright and curious! Rabbits can even be clicker-trained and rewarded with small, healthy treats. Guinea pigs have even been known to recognize the sound of vegetables being chopped or a refrigerator door being opened and can become quite vocal and excited.

Meet Coco at our Critter Corner!
Meet Coco at our Critter Corner!

Myth #3: My child will not learn as much about animal care from a small animal as they would with a dog or cat. We think critters make excellent “starter” pets when introducing the younger members of your family to the responsibilities of animal care. Because critters are generally less hands-on maintenance than a dog or cat, they can be an easier entry into pet care. For instance, critters can be more easily contained. Perhaps your child isn’t ready to start walking the family dog, but they can learn the responsibilities of safe handling, feeding and cleaning of a pet while inside the home. In addition, the healthy and balanced diets that most critters enjoy is a great way to teach your kids about fruits and veggies!

The Brain is a tiny 5-month-old mouse, eagerly awaiting tasty treats and a best friend!
The Brain is a tiny 5-month-old mouse, eagerly awaiting tasty treats and a best friend!

Myth #4: Aren’t all critters dirty and smelly? Actually most small animals are very clean and neat, and spend a good portion of their day grooming themselves. It is important to always provide your small animal with clean bedding and habitats. Rabbits can even be litter box-trained, and hamsters never need baths!

Given their unique and individual personalities, sociability and intelligence, and overall cuteness in a tiny package, these are some of the reasons we think critters can make excellent pets! We have many critters available for adoption – come meet your match at Seattle Humane today!

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