No matter what pet you decide to adopt, be sure it’s the right pet for your family.

Do you have a busy lifestyle? Are you away from home a lot? Who will take care of your pet(s) if you are not there? What type of budget do you have to feed and care for your pet?

For those reasons and more, many families will make the choice to adopt a “small animal.” A small animal is typically a pet that will spend much of its time in a cage; a rabbit, ferret, hamster, guinea pig, parakeet, rat, mouse, or gerbil. Get a cage, fill it with bedding and give it food and water, what could be simpler, right? WRONG!

Did you know that small animals need just as much, if not more stimulation than many other pets? Because these pets spend much of their time in a cage, it is very important to be sure they are getting proper exercise, nutrition and attention. They are more social than many people think.

Some other important factors to consider are:

  1. How long will our pet live
  2. Who will be the primary care-giver for our pet
  3. How active is our pet
  4. What type of time commitment will I need to care for our new pet

Many small animals have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lifetime and need things to chew on so their teeth can remain healthy. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small pocket pets will need appropriate outlets for their chewing!

Small pets are also sensitive to extreme temperature changes and can have delicate respiratory systems. Being sure that their bedding is appropriate for their species as well as keeping their living space clean and dry is critical.

Just like dogs and cats, small animals need food, water and shelter. They also need attention, mental/physical stimulation and veterinary care.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has many small animals available for adoption including rabbits and small birds ($10), guinea pigs, mice rats, gerbils and hamsters (all $5 each) and ferrets ($50).

To see current availability visit and click the adopt link and choose other.

To learn more about what type of small pet would be right for your family, visit our website for Pet Care Tips.