Small Animals = Less Care

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

  1. olliethemutt

    olliethemutt New Member

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    Same here...But I KNOW I have spent more on shakes than on Ollie in the last year. I tend to be in panic mode more with him too....
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I don't add up vet bills for ferrets. I know if I did, I'd want to kill the ferrets that I spent all that money on :p
     
  3. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    It seriously annoys me too. People get a rabbit, and keep it in a 3ft or 4ft cage. It's just not enough. Of course it doesn't help that most pet shops don't sell housing large enough for the pets they sell :(
     
  4. *blackrose

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

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    That is another thing that annoys me. I wish pet store employees were more knowledgeable about proper animal care and that the products needed for proper animal care were actually AVAILABLE.
    I am SO HAPPY that Midwest has come out with a Guinea Pig cage that is modeled after the C&C cages. It has the proper square footage needed for a pig or two, and it is cheaper than the smaller cages. Before, if you wanted to get a commercially bought cage for a Piggie, you were always under the recommended square footage.
     
  5. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Well, some small animals DO require less care than say, a dog.

    Ultimately, I don't like when people get an animal they aren't prepared for and neglect to give it the things it needs to live a happy, stimulating, healthy life. Pet's just shouldn't be an impulse buy, and in the (ideally) rare occasions they are, those people should go home and research all aspects of ownership for that animal. It's not like buying a 'thing', an object with no feelings or sense of fear/pain/depression. We are dealing with living, breathing creatures here, beings with feelings and senses.
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    But they really don't. What does a dog NEED? Water, food, love, vet care and exercise. What does a rabbit/ferret/guinea pig/hamster/sugar glider/whatever NEED? Water, food, love, vet care and exercise. Anything other than that is a luxury, not a need.

    By the large, dog owners (myself included) are hypocritical, and I've been seeing it more and more, the more involved with other rescues I get. They don't blink an eye at somebody shoving a guinea pig in a cage way too small for 23 hours a day, but hear about somebody sticking their dog in a small crate for 23 hours a day and they are yelling abuse. That guinea pig is just as not happy as that dog is, yet it's fine to do for a guinea pig (or rabbit or hamster or ferret or whatever). It's not just dogs that need that human interaction. Hej, Wedgey *really* pushed that into my mind.
     
  7. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I have to put more THOUGHT into the time spent with my rats and other previous small animals. Dogs just kinda exist with you most of the time you are home (unless you are actively doing something with them), but most small animals don't get that. They can't just run over and ask for pets a couple times a day, they 100% rely on you to be forward in paying them attention, cleaning their cage, etc. They aren't going to bark at you if you forget to feed them.
     
  8. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    They need the same things, but I would argue that they do not need those things in the same amounts. My bird gets the exact same things as my dog - good food, vet care, exercise, stimulation. But she is old, a small parrot, and she does not require the same amount of time that my dog does. In fact, she is out of her cage most of the day but doing her own things because she just isn't that friendly. I spend much more time out of my day interacting with and providing for my dog than I do her. They both live nice lives and are happy though.

    Shoving a GP in a cage that is too small for it is wrong. The GP needs a proper sized cage to be happy. I don't disagree with you in that regard, and I *hate* when people don't provide for an animal what it needs. However, that is a totally different argument. On a fundamental level, pets need the same things - love, vet care, exercise, a good diet, etc. But there is no way that a leopard gecko or a hamster needs me to take an hour and a half out of my day to hike him on the local dog trails lol. Of course they need stimulation and exercise, but it is unreasonable (imo) to say that all animals are equal in the amount of time/money they typically need (and for money I am thinking more along the line of fish, because I vet all my other animals lol).

    I mean, even among dogs the amount of things they "need" varies. My retriever mix Tucker was happy with 30 minutes of exercise a day, and lounging around the house for the other 23.5 hours :p That was enough for him to be happy and healthy. Spy needs way more of my time to be happy (walking and mental stimulation) and is much more demanding and time consuming.

    If I was a busier person, I would opt for more of a Tucker type dog than a Spy type because yeah, Tucker really does require less than Spy does to be happy. If I was time constrained and felt I didn't have the space for a dog but wanted a pet, I might look into getting some hermit crabs.

    Maybe this is more of a debate about what less care means. I don't disagree that animals require the same basic things, but when I think of less care I think of less demanding and needy. Less care =/= less value, to me.
     
  9. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I would definitely agree that not ALL small animals are going to require more time than a dog, it is just going to depend on the type of animal and the particular animal in question.

    Just like your experience with dogs, I have 2 rats who ABSOLUTELY need **** tons of exercise and mental stimulation, and one who is meh and doesn't start chucking crap out of her cage if she isn't out every night :p
     
  10. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    My offer I've given previously still stands -- I'll send Ren to somebody for 2 days. They'll be begging me to take him back after 2 hours :p

    I would send Ella, but I think I'd have to kill my parents first.
     
  11. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Nope sorry, gerbils, rabbits, and others require way less than a dog. A dog is a pretty high maintenance animal. Most need one on one attention and long walks, etc. A guinea pig does not. Even when you let them out for exercise they are basically self-exercising.

    You say the dog and guinea pig would be equally unhappy confined. I disagree. Dogs are flat out more intelligent and of course that affects their stimulation requirements. When animals are stressed/bored/chronically unhappy they tend to develop stereotypies. I know I've caged rabbits for longer than 24 hours and the rabbits show 0 signs of distress. When you let them out in the pen they act normally. Put my dog in a cage of equivalent size for 24 hours and I promise you he'd be going insane. Let him out and he'd be even more insane.

    Parrots self mutilate, horses crib, rats chew bars, leopards pace etc. Go look at videos of foxes and mink at fur farms and the animals are neurotic. Then go look at videos of rabbits farms and see if you can identify any stereotypies or anything at all that indicates stress from confinement. Though you probably wouldn't see it but I imagine some would chew or pull at bars. But nothing like the incessant pacing, self mutilating or neurosis you see in the aforementioned animals. I do think all animals have a threshold for when they become uncomfortable due to boredom or confinement. But I think some animals e.g. dogs have a much lower threshold than other animals.
     
  12. *blackrose

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

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    Yes, I agree that not all small animals are going to be as high maintenance as a dog. My dwarf hamster stays in his cage 24/7 (except when I clean it), I refill his food dish every few days, change his water bottle once a week or so, clean his cage every week or so...he's a very fat, happy hamster. LOL He has lots of toys, a big cage, a wheel, a dust bath, and a few different hidey houses and he gets along just fine. A dog is obviously higher maintenance than he is. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have criteria that must be met for him to stay happy. A hamster shouldn't be kept in a tiny little cage without any stimulation any more than a dog should be kept in a crate 24/7.

    I think the argument for "just as high maintenance as a dog" focuses more on the "exotic" pets. Having a ferret is like having a kitten on crack that isn't 100% litterbox trained. Many people don't realize this. They think, "Oh, ferret, pocket pet, caged animal, I'll care for it like I did my hamster back in the day." No, not the case at all.

    I've owned quite a few different species of animals...I now realize I can't handle birds or fish. Both of those, to me, require much more maintenance than my dogs ever did. Or maybe I get less satisfaction out of them for the work I put in them, I don't know.
     
  13. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Which is idiotic. It's a weasel. As in, mischievous slinky thing that whips around burrows killing other animals and getting into chicken coops and such. I guess people aren't very good at making these connections but totally not pocket pet material (meant for those who have graduated to keeping pets loose in their trousers I guess :p).
     
  14. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    :rofl1::rofl1:

    So you don't want Renegade? ARE YOU SURE? I'll pay you!

    Just kidding... Sorta
     
  15. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Ha ha... it would be nice to have something like a ferret to flush rats out from the hay/wood storage area but I've read ferrets don't do so well with rats and I wouldn't want one horribly bitten. (and thank you so much for the offer but at this point I have little interest in a ballistic housepet :p)
     
  16. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Fish kept in bowls and other unsuitable containers bother me quite a bit.

    I will say that my ~25 fish are muchmuchmuchmuch less work in their 55gal tank than my one Elsie is, though.

    I understand other small pets would be different though. Guppies aren't exactly high maintenance.
     
  17. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Well... you wouldn't have to worry about *finding* one bitten... you just wouldn't *find* one.
     
  18. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I think if you hunt with them you're supposed to get a little gps/radio collar thing. Also I think the gist of what I read was the ferrets weren't being killed by the rats but hurt frequently enough that they lost interest in rats.
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I think the thing with little pets is they are far more often impulse purchases (often for children) and people don't research further than what the petstore people tell them. Some small animals, like ferrets are not all that well suited to life as a house pet anyway and that can makes them much higher maintenance and more expensive than people would ever realize. What I think often happens with small pets is that the "rewards" owners get from them are pretty minimal compared to the effort required to properly care for them. Dogs require a lot more effort than most small pets but because they are part of the household, wandering around and interacting throughout the day there tends to be a much stronger bond to them with many people so the work required with them is more proportionate to what the owner gets in return. It is similar with cats. But an animal like a Chinchilla....they're fun and interesting to watch but they are not as interactive with their owners as dogs. Yet you will still spend hours cleaning their cage, feeding them, "taming", etc. There is a reason many of these pets aren't mainstream pets. I'm not at all saying that is a reason to not properly care for an animal or research prior to getting one. But i think it really plays into what goes on with many small pets.
     
  20. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I agree.

    With dogs, they're constantly around you so it's just... easier to give them attention. When I'm sitting on the couch watching TV, the dogs will all hang out with me. They are definitely more needy... 15 hours of crate time would be VERY hard on my dogs, whereas some small pets are fine staying in their cages for 24 hours a day.

    I just don't think it's unreasonable to get a small pet and give them the care they NEED. Get them a proper sized cage. Interact with them for the amount of time they should have. Feed them what they should eat. It's not hard. If you want the pet, give them what is best for them, or don't get them.

    With small animals, though, there seems to be a consensus with the public that they don't need much of anything. Guinea pigs are fine being stuffed in 2ft long cages. Rats are fine in aquariums without much contact with humans. Bettas can live in cups. Go spend 5 minutes browsing on Craigslist or Kijiji and see what the "rehome" pet cages/aquariums look like.

    And then there are the people who will let their small pets suffer and die a prolonged, painful death because "they don't need to go to a vet." I don't care how small or how cheap that pet cost- if they are suffering, please at least have them euthanized (or do it yourself humanely if you know how).
     

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