Having a pet at home is a great joy, but it also requires space, time and resources. Dogs and cats are adorable, but for these reasons can also be rather “demanding”. For those who are nevertheless seeking the company of a furry friend, there is no need to give up on your dream: with their friendly charm and playfulness, large domestic rodents might surprise you and win you over, also because they are very affectionate. Let’s see which one might suit you best!
THE GUINEA PIG
The guinea pig is undoubtedly among the most affectionate rodents: in fact, this little animal needs physical contact with his owner and also needs to live with a mate of his own species (of the same sex or, if a couple, the male should be neutered). Once he has overcome his shyness, the guinea pig will prove to be very sociable and docile and will amuse you with his funny vocal repertoire. These characteristics make the guinea-pig suitable for anyone who wants a pet they will grow attached to and that will become attached to them, also because they can live to 8 years of age if properly fed.
The chinchilla is a soft, lively ball of fluff, whose playful, friendly nature makes him a lovable pet. Like the guinea pig, this rodent is strictly herbivorous and should be fed with hay and specific pellets; he also needs a particularly large cage, because he needs a lot of space in which he can move around. It is also advisable to leave him free to run and jump around for a few hours every day, in a room in your house that has been made safe for him. You will undoubtedly fall in love with your chinchilla, who will stay with you for a long time, even 15 years or more.
The rat is often snubbed and looked down upon. However, in reality, he is a very pleasant pet rodent. In contrast with what people might think, he is very intelligent and clean and is a particularly sociable animal in reed of physical contact with his owner. Like the chinchilla, the rat also needs exercise and should be allowed to come out of his cage for a few hours, so that he can stretch his legs. Unlike the previous two rodents, the rat’s life expectancy is rather short, just 2-3 years, and he needs an omnivorous diet, based not only on vegetables, but also grains, best if wholegrain, and proteins, like pieces of boiled egg, for example.
Leaving aside individual preferences that might lead you to choose one pet rather than another, keep in mind that these creatures have something in common: it is essential that they all receive an appropriate diet, sufficient space and a great deal of attention. But do you feel like someone is missing? Ah yes… the rabbit! As it happens, though, this little animal is not a rodent, but a lagomorph, and this is why it was not included in the list. However, if you want to know more about rabbits and perhaps find out a few things you didn’t already know, read about them right here!