I want to get a Small Pet. My hamster just died and I don’t want to get another hamster. I want a pet that is friendly, playful, and fairly easy to care for. The only problem is that my family rents a home so I really need to have a pet that is not going to ruin carpet. I am 14 and have had a lot of experience with pets. I think I might be allergic to dust or hay, so I need a pet that will not create a cloud of dust around it’s cage.
If you could suggest some small pets that would be good for me and the reasons why you would suggest that pet and some care instructions, I would really appreciate it… Thanks
if you can figure out whether it’s hay or dust you’re allergic to, that would help a lot with picking a new pet… things like guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, etc. are cute and spend most of their time in the cage (or on you, in the case of chins and degus) so they’re not going to destroy carpet/furniture, but those pets all need hay as part of their diet. all three require significantly more complex care than a hamster does.
sugar gliders are cute as can be, don’t eat hay and don’t free-range so they won’t destroy stuff… however, they can live to be 15 years old, use you as their personal toilet, NEED to be kept in pairs – never solo, have complex and specific dietary needs (I found the BML diet to be the easiest, since there’s no calculating calcium to phosphorus ratios because the fruits and veggies are already chosen for you… HPW and blended diet are also good ones), usually cost around $150 each and require a LOT of time with their human (in a bonding pouch during much of the day (they’ll pretty much just sleep) and some "tent time" with you 4-5 nights a week).
hedgehogs and ferrets also don’t eat hay, but again, they’re high maintenance and have very specific dietary needs… they also have very stinky poop. from what I’ve heard about ferrets, they’re pretty much like having a 2 year old child for their entire lifespan.
with any of the exotics, it can be difficult to find a truly knowledgeable vet and you need to be prepared for emergency vet bills if your pet gets sick.
as far as easy to care for, friendly and playful pets, I’d honestly suggest rats. while they may seem similar to hamsters at first glance, their temperaments are *very* different. rats are very social creatures and are much more interested in humans than hamsters are. my college roommate had rats and they’d sit on my hand and wrap their tail around my wrist (which was SO cute) rather than trying to run off the way a hamster will. if you use recycled paper bedding (like carefresh or critter care), it’s fairly low dust and less likely to cause allergy problems than aspen shavings or something.