Small Animals = Less Care

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by ~Jessie~, May 14, 2012.

  1. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    A reoccuring theme I've noticed is that small animals (whether "exotic" or average pets) get the shaft.

    Sugar Gliders need large cages so they can climb and exercise... but I've seen SO many pictures of them in tiny, tiny bird cages or mouse cages. And then there are people who feed them cat food as their staple diet. It makes me really, really sad. I did a ton of research on them before bringing Mort home, and knew what their diet would entail- it is NOT difficult.

    I've seen so many ferrets and chinchillas in guinea pig cages, turtles in "death bowls", 25 hamsters shoved in a 5 gallon aquarium, etc, etc.

    Obviously most of these pets are spur of the moment purchases, and then are rehomed on Craigslist a few months later.

    It's just really sad.
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    It really sucks that in many of these cases, an animals purchase price= how much it is "worth" as far as care. And that's just messed up.

    IMO If I'm not going to put 100% into that animal.. I wouldn't get it. I don't believe in spacer pets "oh I really want a dog.. but I can't have one..so I'll get a _______" kind of thing. These kinds of situations usually lead to a lot of disapointment and the animal usually suffers because of it.

    And just purely selfishly, if I'm not 100% into that animal.. why would I sign myself up for cage cleanings and everything else they require in even the most basic care (buying cat food. changing litter. cleaning the bowl. etc..)?

    My heart and head don't have a medium setting. Either I am totally obsessed or totally uninterested.
    Knowing that about myself, I wouldn't feel right getting smaller animals because I would feel awful "ranking" my pets and constantly choosing my dogs over the small pet/kind of resenting this little animal for taking up my time..and I know that's what would happen.
    KNOWING THAT ABOUT MYSELF. I don't buy small animals. I don't see how that's so complicated for some people to grasp.

    I don't even buy SHAMPOO without looking at EVERY review on amazon and obsessing over which to get.
    And this is a bottle that I can just throw away or wash my hair with and finish.

    ..so I sure as HELL don't think animal ownership of any kind is ok to rush into.

    Especially when its seen as "Oh well I don't think you are ready for financially for a dog.. get a sugar glider/hamster"
    WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    You don't want to KNOW how much I paid for hamster x-rays!
    I DON'T EVEN LIKE TO THINK ABOUT IT!

    but she's my granger and I adore her and we lived together in my dorm and even though she was a gift that costed me nothing.
    I agreed to care for her.. and part of that is vet care.

    I couldn't have any other pets in my dorm, I frankly didn't want any.. but she was given to me and by keeping her, I signed the unwritten pet owner contract to give her the care she deserved.
    PROPER living arrangement. PROPER food. Water. Vet care. Interaction (depending on species)
     
  3. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Fran, I totally agree! I am the exact same way! I research EVERYTHING and always want to do the very best I can.

    I know there are certain pets I'd do TERRIBLE with. There are SO many that I admire and think they're really cool- for instance, birds! They are so fun to look at and interact with briefly, but I know I wouldn't be up to the challenge of taking care of them.

    The only "good" thing that sugar gliders, chinchillas, and ferrets have on their side is their high initial cost. Poor hamsters and gerbils are like $10 at Petco.

    I really dislike the mentality of "oh it cost less money, so I will give it lesser care." No, that's not how it should work! Many dogs are free or have super low adoption fees, but that doesn't mean they need less care than a $800 dog.
     
  4. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Oh my gosh... the only time I really got flak about owning pets was when I had rats and took them to the vet. I have quite a few friends/family that really just didn't understand why I would pay the price of an exotics vet instead of just getting a new rat. Wouldn't that just be cheaper??

    I really don't get the "no research" aspect of pet ownership, either. It just totally baffles me.
     
  5. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    That's so terrible :(

    When I was 6 I had a hamster who ended up getting wet tail and died- my mom and I took her to the vet and there was nothing they could do.

    My gerbil's tail fell off and we also took her to the vet. All they did was put some liquid bandage stuff on and give us ointment... but the tail healed and she lived a normal life afterwards.

    Luckily, my parents have always been VERY good about taking all sick animals to the vet... so it's been very normal to have that ingrained into me.

    I've never understood the mentality to "just replace it." So sad.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Totally get it! Totally!

    I hate seeing Guinea Pigs in the cages that are sold as guinea pig cages, they are way way way too small. One gpig should have at minimum 7 and a half square feet of run space. MINIMUM!

    Or rats in tanks. That's about the best way to give them a respiratory disease out there.

    Or chinchilla's in little tiny cages and they obviously haven't been given access to a dust bath anytime recently :(

    My chin Balou came to me because his owner had him and his brother in a cage next to a female, so they were duking it out. Balou had scars and chunks of ears missing when I got him. At least be decent enough to move him to a separate cage until you find a home for him, you moron!

    My ratties I found on CL, the kid was getting rid of them because he wanted an iPad instead. Really?! And had been feeding them only lasagna noodles, carrots, and PUFFCORN!

    Cages are probably my biggest small pet peeve. If you can't afford a nice, big cage for your small pet, then you don't deserve to have your small pet. I hate that so many small animals can just be bought on a whim. I wish places required some kind of waiting period.

    And the cost doesn't end after that. Decent small animal food costs money. The rat food that I buy costs more per pound than Orijen. Not to mention the cost of the homemade food that I make, startup cost on that was probably over $100. That's not even factoring in the fresh fruits, veggies, etc that they get every day.
     
  7. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I'm always the first to admit that I got into ferrets on a whim ;) I had always wanted one, but never thought it would happen -- until suddenly Rascal needed a home and was with me a week later. That said, I obviously did my research after.

    As far as less work than a dog... HA. A dog doesn't steal and hide everything. A dog doesn't need to be watched like a hawk around the house. Im not even talking about a special needs ferret like Ren -- just any normal ferret. Honestly, I kind of wish I could just pass Ren around to everybody who thinks they want a ferret for a few days -- that'll stop anybody but those dedicated to them from wanting one.

    The whole cage battle annoys me, majorly. Especially when somebody won't buy like, say, a FN, but then complain that they don't have time to take their ferrete out daily. Uhh hello? Buy a FN and it's not as necessary for them to get out daily -- you'd be fine to skip a day! But no, because if you add a FN, the initial beginning costs is like $650.

    So glad they are so expensive.
     
  8. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I don't mind if someone gets a pet on a whim and then does research. The people that bother me are the ones who buy the pet without thinking, get it home, and only listen to the advice of the pet store employee without researching on their own.

    I see this a LOT with reef tanks. People seriously overstock their tanks and put fish into tanks that are too small... and then feed them crappy flake food for their entire lives. It makes me so sad to see tanks with fish that are much too large. Tangs, for example, need a lot of space to swim... but people will stick them in 30 gallon tanks and the poor fish suffer.
     
  9. Blue_Dog

    Blue_Dog Guest

    Pretty much any pets that aren't dogs or cats get this mentality attached to them.
    What bothers me is when people will research and go all the way for one pet and then shrug off research for another kind.
     
  10. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    Makes me mad too!

    My goldfish is OLD and he has it GOOD! His tank is huge, he gets to eat shrimp and worms once a week, fruit, veg and gel foods.
    I won him at a fun fair when I was 4.

    My hamsters all had huge cages with a tank attached to the bottom for at least a foot or more of tunneling. They never ate hamster food and all apart fom one no I rescued and we had no idea his age lived with us for 5+ years.
     
  11. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    So... without trying to be too intrusive :p how old is your fish and how big is he?
     
  12. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    17! I have no idea how big he is now (he lives in England with my mum) when I got him he was probably about an inch now including his huge tail he is probably closer to 6 or 7".

    Eta my mum just informed me he is probably closer to 9"
     
  13. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    That's impressive!!!

    Our oldest fish are our pair of black clown fish... I think they're a little over 3 years old.

    There was a pair of 35+ year old clown fish at one of the local reef fish stores a while back- they weren't for sale. They were massive!
     
  14. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Cool! What a lucky fish!
     
  15. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    My parents Idea was to get a goldfish that would last a couple of years to teach me to care for a pet before I could have rodents. That backfired.

    He's a grumpy SOB but knows some tricks.
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    This is why I had to order a cage for the keets--I wanted a good sized flight cage and that's nearly impossible to get at you average pet store. They do have large cages at Petco, but they are made for medium to large sized birds.

    Yoda was bought on a whim. I didn't go to the sale I bought him at planning on buying a bird. We already had the keets though, and Nate had wanted a Quaker parrot anyway, so I got him. I did do tons of research and reading after getting him though. I have no regrets-we had kind of a rough start but I have learned a ton from and he has turned out to be a awesome bird. Plus we have taught him to make farting sounds-what more could you want? :D
     
  17. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Nothing more. I'll take him.
     
  18. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I didn't know goldfish could live that long! We have a catfish who I'm not sure exactly how old he is, but he was with us before we moved to our current home, so at least... close to 15 years old. He's the only fish we have left as over the years we've gotten out of fish keeping and just haven't gotten new fish as the old ones have died. Pretty sure he's going to live forever, though. He's maybe... 6-7"? Not one of those species that gets to like 6' or whatever in the wild.
     
  19. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    Haha I didn't know either. I think the oldest goldfish was like 26 or something. I keep telling him to stay alive long enough to be in the record books.
     
  20. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I agree. A pet is a pet is a pet...I don't care if it is a dog or a hamster, they deserve to have the same quality of care. Like Fran said...proper diet, proper living quarters, proper mental/physical stimulation, vet care (which would include euthanasia so the animals doesn't suffer from whatever illness it has if treatment isn't worth the price to the owner), proper handling. If you can't be bothered to research what the animal needs and how to best care for it...don't get it.

    And when people think a small pet is less expensive than a dog...HA. That may be true for hamsters and such, but not for ferrets. I've think I've spent more money on my ferrets than I have on Chloe. LOL
     

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