Small Friends

General Information About Degus

Degus are very social animals that were originally transported to Europe and North America from Chile, where they live from the West Coast to the Andy Mountains. In the wild, they often live in groups of thousands. In captivity they should be housed with at least one other degu of the same sex, or they can become extremely lonely.

They can learn to recognize their owner’s voice and may come running to you when you call them.

A degus life span is 6-10 years (longer if housed in pairs) They can grow to 12 inches total, with a 6 inch tail, and weigh up to ½ a pound.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

General Information About Gerbils

Gerbils are friendly, clean and quiet little rodents who make wonderful pets. Unlike hamsters who are solitary animals, gerbils usually prefer to be housed with a same sex sibling. Mongolian gerbils are found in nature in wide open deserts of Mongolia and northern China. The first origins of today’s strain of Mongolia gerbils can be traced to 1935, when a small number were trapped and taken to Japan for medical research. Mongolia gerbils are the most popular ones as pets, but not the only variety available. Others include the fat tailed gerbil, the shaw’s jird, and the pallid gerbil. They have not been kept as domestic pets for very long, so not as much information is known about them compared to the Mongolia gerbil.

Gerbils have a life span of approximately 3-5 years, and weigh between 75-120 grams. Gerbils now come in many different colour varieties.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

General Information About Hamsters

In 1930, a zoologist came across a family of hamsters burrowed 8 feet below the ground in the middle of the Syrian Desert.  He brought them back to his laboratory in Jerusalem and within 4 months the first litter of Golden or Syrian hamsters were born.  From Jerusalem, scientists took them to France, England and, in 1938, to the United States. All present-day Golden Hamsters in captivity with the exception of a few brought back by travelers and military men are the descendants of that first small family of hamsters found in Syria.

Hamsters are very friendly, and can learn to recognize their owners voice and may come running to you when you call them.  Syrian hamsters should not be housed together, as they are fiercely territorial and do not tolerate sharing well.  Dwarf hamsters can be housed together if same sex siblings, but care must be taken to prevent breeding and fighting. Often as they mature, larger groups (i.e. 4+) must be separated into smaller groups (i.e. 2).

Hamsters have a life span of approximately 2-3 years, although some may live up to 5 years.  There are at least 40 different colours of hamsters, and 3 different types of fur.  They are nocturnal by nature and are extremely active during the late evening and night.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

General Information About Hedgehogs

Before you take on the responsibility of a pet, you need to consider if a hedgehog is right for you. Bear in mind that hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal animals and can take a long time to become accustomed to being handled. A hedgehog owner should be patient, gentle, and willing to accept that their hedgehog may not keep the same hours as they do.

We strongly recommend that a child should not be the primary caregiver of a hedgehog. If you as a parent decide that your young child or adolescent can have a hedgehog, please know that you are responsible for the care and attention that the hedgehog receives. In other words — the hedgehog ultimately belongs to you, not your child or teenager, and you need to be prepared to assume full responsibility for the life of a small creature if or when your child loses interest in their new pet.

Like any pet, hedgehogs do require medical treatment when ill, and yearly health check-ups. Your hedgehog may live up to five or six years with a good diet and plenty of exercise. Having this naturally shy animal grow to trust you can be a very rewarding experience and one that makes having a hedgehog in your life worthwhile.  Rabbit Rescue does occasionally get hedgehogs that are available for adoption.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

General Information About Mice

Mice are nocturnal little creatures and spend most of the day sleeping.  But once night falls, they are quite active, rarely sitting still except to eat or groom!  When choosing a mouse, there is no difference in male/female personalities.  Male mice do tend to have more of an odour than female mice.  Mice live an average of 1.5-3.5 years, but can live up to 5 years!

Please do not purchase/adopt a mouse, (or any animal), based on the price of the animal alone. All that the animal needs to be healthy, happy, and live a full life must be taken into account.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

General Information About Rats

Rats are extremely intelligent creatures.  It is often said that they have the intelligence level of a two and a half year old child. Contrary to popular belief, they are also very clean animals.  Rats groom themselves over seven times a day, from the tip of their nose, to the tip of their tail. They also frequently groom each other, but as more of a social gesture.

Rats are very social animals. Not only do they thrive on the companionship of their own kind, but they seek out and enjoy the company of their humans. In the wild, rats live in large groups called mischiefs. These groups function very much like a pack of wolves, with the same hierarchy or structure.

When obtaining a rat as a pet, it is very important that you have multiple rats of the same sex, or different sexes only if the rats have been neutered or spayed. Two or three are adequate for new rat owners, more for those with more experience. A rat should NOT be housed on its own. Solitary rats often suffer with being more antisocial towards humans, and are often more sickly throughout their lives. Every avenue must be exhausted before deciding to keep a rat on its own.

More detailed info coming soon!

General Information About Sugar Gliders

Before you take on the responsibility of a pet, you need to consider if sugar gliders are right for you. Bear in mind that sugar gliders are nocturnal animals and can take a long time to become accustomed to being handled.  If you are to won sugar gliders, you must be patient, gentle, and willing to accept that your gliders will not keep the same hours as you do.

We strongly recommend that a child should not be the primary caregiver of a sugar glider. If you as a parent decide that your young child or adolescent can have a sugar glider, please know that you are responsible for the care and attention that the sugar glider receives. In other words – the glider ultimately belongs to you, not your child or teenager, and you need to be prepared to assume full responsibility for the life of a small creature if or when your child loses interest in their new pet.

Like any pet, sugar gliders do require medical treatment when ill, and yearly health check ups. Not all vets will treat a sugar glider, so it is best to do research before adopting a glider to ensure you can find a vet you are happy with.  Your gliders may live up to 12-15 years with a good diet and plenty of exercise. Having this naturally shy animal grow to trust you can be a very rewarding experience and one that makes having a glider in your life worthwhile.

Rabbit Rescue does occasionally have sugar gliders up for adoption. Please check with your individual city’s bylaws to see if you are allowed to own them in your area.

More detailed info coming soon!

 

We’re also working on Chinchilla information, stay tuned!