Hamsters from 15 Alternative Pets If Just Cats and Dogs Won’t Cut It for You

15 Alternative Pets If Just Cats and Dogs Won’t Cut It for You

Cats and dogs can be expensive to take care of, come with house restrictions, require a lot of commitment, and have a destructive personality. If that’s not enough, a lot of people are allergic to them. These should not be reasons why you can’t bring a cute little critter home. Deciding what kind of pet to have is not a simple task if you don’t want a cat or a dog. What may seem like an unusual or even dangerous animal to domesticate is actually perfect for staying in a house, cuddling and keeping you or your child amused. Some are easy to find while you may need a permit for others.

Ferret

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Ferrets are smart, very curious and playful, which are qualities that also make them fun companions. They need to interact with their owners a lot in order to form a bond. If you are not getting a ferret because you think it’s a rodent, don’t worry. It’s not. Ferrets belong to the Mustelid family and have been domesticated for over 2,000 years, according to veterinarians.

Chinchilla

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Chinchillas have not been kept as pets for many years. They are clean, quiet, odorless and cute rodents that are actually shy and more appropriate as pets for adults and older children, according to the Royal Society of Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). They act a little bit like squirrels you see in the park. They are very friendly unless you squeeze them too hard. Another bonus is that they are very low-maintenance.

Chipmunk

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Chipmunks are one of the most energetic and curious pets you can ever have. They also hibernate. It’s important to give them a lot of space because they are very active. They should be housed in a large birdcage kind of structure that has a lot of branches and foliage for them to climb and hide in. Chipmunks usually love to sit on their owners’ shoulders and watch TV.

Silver Fox

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An old Russian experiment showed how foxes were domesticated into people’s doglike companions. Only the top 5 percent of tame foxes are allowed to breed. The rest, who are perfectly friendly, are either sold to fur farms or distributed as pets. Each fox costs about $7,000. Even though they are domesticated, they are predators by nature. They need a lot of space and cannot be kept in a cage for long. They love to play anything and crave attention.

Tarantula

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Pet tarantulas are a truly unique pet and have become very popular. They make no noise and are rather docile. These pet spiders require very little space and are easy to care for and feed. You can find tarantulas widely available at pet stores, reptile shows, and online breeders and dealers. They can be handled, but they are not a pet you should handle due to the possibility of injuring the spider, according to Tarantula Guide.

The Hedgehog

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Hedgehogs will always want to play with you and can be trained through positive reinforcement. They are very quiet too – the most you may hear is them running around its cage rearranging furniture. They don’t have dander, which makes them perfect if you are allergic to cats or dogs. Taking care of them is not a chore – you’ll just need to take them to a vet once a year.

Hamsters

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This small, round, furry and extremely cute creature makes you want to have it as soon as you see it. Being so tiny and energetic makes them good pets for children who are older than 8 and who want to play with them all the time. The average lifespan for a hamster is between 2.5 and 3 years. You can’t have hamsters if you live in Hawaii – it’s illegal, according to The Humane Society.

Skunks

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These cute little animals won’t stink because their stink glands are removed when they are young. Skunks are very curious and need a lot of attention and affection. They love for you to rub, fondle and play with them. Skunks are naturally clean creatures and “corner trained” instinctively. It’s not legal in all states to own a skunk, and even if it is, you’re likely going to need a permit.

Sugar Gliders

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Sugar Gliders are not rodents; they are small marsupials in the same general family as a Kangaroo or Koala Bear, according to Sugar Glider Info. They have been domestically bred as household pets in the U.S. for 15 years. They love fruits and vegetables and they have a gliding membrane that stretches from their wrist to their ankles, hence their name. Sugar gliders are odorless, clean, and don’t need bathing. 

Frogs

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Frogs make truly amazing pocket pets but keeping them happy and healthy  requires some effort, according to Love That Pet. There should be enough room in the terrarium to allow the frogs to jump around, and enough items to climb to keep them busy. They are carnivores, so they love to eat meat, preferable while it’s still alive (read worms). Always wash your hands before you touch them; otherwise you can make them sick because they absorb substances through their skin.

Bearded Dragon

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These small lizards have laid-back personalities and make great family pets, according to PetSmart, and are fun and easy to care for. That’s why they are growing in popularity as pets. They can react to chemicals or dirt that may be on people’s skin, so wash your hands before playing with them. They love affection and like to be handled.

Parakeets

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If you are thinking about owning a bird, the Budgie may be a good choice. They are usually very cheerful and don’t require much. Parakeets love to interact with their owners so you won’t ever be bored. You can teach them up to 100 words. Other pros include that they are cheap and fun to watch, but can get loud sometimes.

Wallaby

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These are cute, tame and easy to handle kangaroo-like creatures. Wallabies are also very sociable. They don’t require much, except a spacious enough secure area where they can run and play, even hide. They also love to be outside during the warmer months. They love to eat grass, green fruits and vegetables.

Mini pig

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Miniature pigs look so adorable that it’s hard not to adopt one on impulse, even though it’s a “pig.” The craze of owning one has taken over, as seen in many YouTube videos. Some of the most famous owners are David and Victoria Beckham. Know what you’re getting yourself into because they need a lot of care, and a great deal of space and grass. They are smart animals and easily bond with people.

Pygmy goat

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They are bread specifically for pet owners. Pygmy goats love to explore everything they don’t know, play, socialize, and need a lot of attention. They can easily adapt to any environment. Make sure you have a yard before you go ahead and buy these cute animals. They can be about 50 pounds.

15 Alternative Pets If Just Cats and Dogs Won’t Cut It for You