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Old 21.05.2012, 21:06
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Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

Hi
I am about to make a big mistake when i actually said I would consider getting my daughter (she is going on 6) a pet. She asked one for her imminent 6th birthday.
It is either a mouse, a hamster or a guinea pig.

Can all the pet-experts here advise me, what are the pros and cons, the costs, the preparations for these type of small animals? Where to get these?
Do you have one?

My requirements are:
1. Inside house
2. Small animal (with cage)
3. Won't die easily
4. can hold and caress (therefore rabbits are out)
5. No need too much attention, just food, water and cleanup
6. Little or no smell
7. No dropping of too much fur

Ok ok, I should instead get some fishes I know, I did try. But she wants a furry little pet.
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Old 21.05.2012, 21:15
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

As a choice out of those 3 I would go for the guinea pigs. You do realize that you'll have to have two don't you.
Hamsters only need a small space but are nocturnal and can be vicious little bu***rs.
Guinea pigs require more space but are much more responsive and like to be cuddled and stroked.
Never had mice so can't really say about them but I personally can't stand them. Not as easy for a 6 year old to handle and an absolute pain to locate if she were to accidentally drop one in the apartment.
You can get any of them from qualipet and they will tell you what size cage is required for each animal. None of them should really smell if they are cleaned out regularly enough. They will have a tendency to send sawdust flying out of the cage though. We have two guinea pigs now and the are really cute and lovable little things. Make sure you get either 2 males (preferably castrated) or 2 females unless you want to have lots of litle pets around the place.
Guinea pigs have the longest lifespan and are the most robust too. I remember being distraught as a kid when our hamster died after we'd had him for a year or so (even if he did bite us all the time)
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Hi
I am about to make a big mistake when i actually said I would consider getting my daughter (she is going on 6) a pet. She asked one for her imminent 6th birthday.
It is either a mouse, a hamster or a guinea pig.

Can all the pet-experts here advise me, what are the pros and cons, the costs, the preparations for these type of small animals? Where to get these?
Do you have one?

My requirements are:
1. Inside house
2. Small animal (with cage)
3. Won't die easily
4. can hold and caress (therefore rabbits are out)
5. No need too much attention, just food, water and cleanup
6. Little or no smell
7. No dropping of too much fur

Ok ok, I should instead get some fishes I know, I did try. But she wants a furry little pet.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 21.05.2012 at 21:24. Reason: Added info
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Old 21.05.2012, 21:33
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

Being practical - and looking at the long term - once nature has run it's course, a Guinea pig is the easiest of the options to spatchcock.
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Old 21.05.2012, 22:36
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

I personally would go with a guinea pig as well.
We had one for a number of years and he was the sweetest little piggie!
They are super cute and friendly and can live for quite a long time if well cared for. My sister (she lives in Schübelbach though) is actually selling two (not why I said guinea pigs...they really are great!)....if you are interested, feel free to PM me and I can give you details.
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Old 21.05.2012, 22:37
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

As you probably know, things tend to be regulated here in Switzerland - the care of animals as well. Here are some BVet brochures that discuss the care and accomodation requirements as set out by the TSchV for guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats (I couldn't find one for mice... but this should give you an idea). These might help you decide which pet is most appropriate for your family.

Guinea Pigs:
https://www.bundespublikationen.admi...einchen_01.pdf

Hamster
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02261/index.html?lang=de

Rats
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02696/index.html?lang=de


You might want to have a chat with the Nagerstation - this is a rescue group specializing in small furries. They are very big on learning all about the pet you choose before taking an animal on, and could likely advise you and your daughter. Their Beratungstelefon is a paid number - but the funds raised go directly to the care of the animals.

http://www.nagerstation.ch/

All the best.


Oh, and when you decide... have you considered adopting a homeless critter? The database is here, choose 'Kleinsäuger' from the list:

http://www.tierdatenbank.ch/cms/tier...unschtier.html
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Old 21.05.2012, 22:45
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

get a hamster. it's small and is pointless. it might also bite your daughter, which will teach her to be careful of what she asks for in the future.
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Old 21.05.2012, 22:56
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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As you probably know, things tend to be regulated here in Switzerland - the care of animals as well. Here are some BVet brochures that discuss the care and accomodation requirements as set out by the TSchV for guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats (I couldn't find one for mice... but this should give you an idea). These might help you decide which pet is most appropriate for your family.

Guinea Pigs:
https://www.bundespublikationen.admi...einchen_01.pdf

Hamster
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02261/index.html?lang=de

Rats
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02696/index.html?lang=de


You might want to have a chat with the Nagerstation - this is a rescue group specializing in small furries. They are very big on learning all about the pet you choose before taking an animal on, and could likely advise you and your daughter. Their Beratungstelefon is a paid number - but the funds raised go directly to the care of the animals.

http://www.nagerstation.ch/

All the best.


Oh, and when you decide... have you considered adopting a homeless critter? The database is here, choose 'Kleinsäuger' from the list:

http://www.tierdatenbank.ch/cms/tier...unschtier.html
Don't get any white mice. One of my children had to do an experiment with 6 mice for a science fair. I bought the mice and of course ended up taking care of them. Each time I had to clean the cage I had to remove the mice from their cage. I was bitten twice and bled a bit. I was worried if they were rabied. Fortunately they weren't. I find them too aggressive. I don't advice to have them as pets specially for small kids.
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Old 22.05.2012, 09:33
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

My advice would be to go for a gerbil (rennmaus). They're
Really fun to watch digging and scurrying around, don't smell, dob't live too long and are very sociable and tame. They're awake during the day and really are very likeable little things. Best to have two as they really like company and appreciate snuggling up with someone.

Hamsters are vicious and nocturnal, mice stink and guinea pigs last too long.
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Old 22.05.2012, 12:03
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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I bought the mice and of course ended up taking care of them.
Very important point.

Every parent who contemplates bringing a pet into the home 'for the children' absolutely MUST understand that the pet will be the parent's responsibility - and thus should only get a pet if he/she truly wants one, and should only get a pet whose characteristics and needs fit his/her lifestyle.
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Old 22.05.2012, 12:11
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

I have had guinea pigs and hamsters and looked after my friends fancy mice while she was on holiday.
My favourites were the guinea pigs, they are lovely to cuddle, they don't smell (although mine were outside) and are generally very friendly.
That said my hamster was lovely too but I've heard it said that they can be unfriendly.
The mice were really, really smelly. Even right after cleaning. and they didn't live long.
Guinea pigs get my vote!
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Old 22.05.2012, 13:41
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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My advice would be to go for a gerbil (rennmaus). They're
Really fun to watch digging and scurrying around, don't smell, dob't live too long and are very sociable and tame. They're awake during the day and really are very likeable little things. Best to have two as they really like company and appreciate snuggling up with someone.

Hamsters are vicious and nocturnal, mice stink and guinea pigs last too long.
If a gerbil is too fast I recommend the African snail.
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Old 22.05.2012, 14:53
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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Being practical - and looking at the long term - once nature has run it's course, a Guinea pig is the easiest of the options to spatchcock.
And the tastiest.
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Old 22.05.2012, 18:11
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

My hamster is a vicious bugger that bites like crazy each time he sees my finger. Changing his cage are a nightmare.

My two guinea pigs are much tamer: they never bite, and they love to be cuddled. But they are not very active, and my son finds it a bit frustrating. When they are on the floor they cuddle together as they are scared, which means you can't really play with them.

Be aware that guinea pigs need quite a big cage (120 cm long), that they pollute a lot (which means changing the cage at least once a week) and need fresh food and hay everyday.
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Old 22.05.2012, 18:16
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

get a dog. A Jack Russell terrier. From a shelter.

The rodents are not interesting. The small ones are only mildly amusing and the big ones make funny noises.
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Old 22.05.2012, 18:30
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

Why not a bunny? Bunnies are more fun. If a bunny isn't on the cards I'd go for the Guinea pig. PS, I agree with MC look at the shelter. They have all kinds of small animals available.
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Old 22.05.2012, 20:21
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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... Each time I had to clean the cage I had to remove the mice from their cage. I was bitten twice and bled a bit. I was worried if they were rabied. Fortunately they weren't....
I'm curious. How did you find out? Was it after a year when no symptoms had developed? Or did you get the mice checked out?

btw - how's the hydrophobia now?

We've had a series of hamsters. They're lovely creatures if you take the time to tame them by handling them every day. The last one we had used to push his wheel round - from the outside. He was also good at being spider-hamster, swinging from the bars on the roof of his cage.

For a sprog though - guinea pigs. They're like cats, but aren't vicious, evil, murdering barstewards.
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Old 22.05.2012, 20:57
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

Thanks for all the friendly posts.
I guess the Guinea pig gets most votes.
I will look for an appropriate shelter or place to buy them. Someone said 2?

Anyone has an idea where I should begin? (Of course I am also a cheapo, looking for cheap cheap but healthy g.pigs)
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Old 22.05.2012, 21:02
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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Thanks for all the friendly posts.
I guess the Guinea pig gets most votes.
I will look for an appropriate shelter or place to buy them. Someone said 2?

Anyone has an idea where I should begin? (Of course I am also a cheapo, looking for cheap cheap but healthy g.pigs)
The cheapest option for a healthy pair, is to go to a zoo with a children's petting area, with an empty sports bag.
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Old 22.05.2012, 21:07
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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Thanks for all the friendly posts.
I guess the Guinea pig gets most votes.
I will look for an appropriate shelter or place to buy them. Someone said 2?

Anyone has an idea where I should begin? (Of course I am also a cheapo, looking for cheap cheap but healthy g.pigs)
Here you go.
http://www.tierdatenbank.ch

I think you have to have two unless they were used to living alone (or something). The people at the shelter will know and I'm sure advise you.

Good luck! We want pics on the pet thread.
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Old 24.05.2012, 23:35
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Re: Help! Maus, Hamsters or Guinea Pigs (for my 6yr old)

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Hi
I am about to make a big mistake when i actually said I would consider getting my daughter (she is going on 6) a pet. She asked one for her imminent 6th birthday.
It is either a mouse, a hamster or a guinea pig.

Can all the pet-experts here advise me, what are the pros and cons, the costs, the preparations for these type of small animals? Where to get these?
Do you have one?

My requirements are:
1. Inside house
2. Small animal (with cage)
3. Won't die easily
4. can hold and caress (therefore rabbits are out)
5. No need too much attention, just food, water and cleanup
6. Little or no smell
7. No dropping of too much fur

Ok ok, I should instead get some fishes I know, I did try. But she wants a furry little pet.

I agree with you that you're about to make a big mistake Number 4 is the killer point for all the tree species you named. None of them like cuddles. It's a comon missinterpretation of guinea pig's shock behaviour that they actually like cuddles. They just endure them. However, they are fun to observe. But know that they can live a long time (around 8 years) and need a big cage. The room in which it's set up will be dusty (from the hay) and there will always be sawdust and hay on the floor.

If you still think that guinea pigs are a good idea, you can get them for about 50 CHF from a private breeder. The cage (at Qualipet) costs about 200, the little houses about 30 a piece (of course you can make your own if you're handy).

Below a link to the page of the Swiss Humane Society (in German) and a quotation from it about the cuddle situation.

http://www.tierschutz.com/publikatio...chweinchen.pdf

Streicheltier? StressMeerschweinchen galten lange Zeit als das Streicheltier par excellence. Genau dies sind sie jedoch

gerade nicht, als Beutetier bedeutet für sie das Gepackt – und Hochgehobenwerden äusserste

Gefahr und extreme Angst! Untersuchungen in den USA zeigen, dass die Stresshormonwerte im

Blut von Meerschweinchen selbst hochschnellten, wenn sie nur ganz kurz in die Hand genommen

wurden. Danach brauchten die Tiere über eine Stunde, um sich wieder zu erholen! Meerschweinchen

kennen körperliche Berührungen auch nicht in ihrem Verhaltensrepertoire, daher ist Streicheln oder

Bürsten für sie fremd und unangenehm. Meerschweinchen sind deshalb Tiere, die man beobachten

kann, aber keine Streicheltiere!

Zähmung und Habituation

Wie die meisten Tiere lassen sich Meerschweinchen aber mit Geduld und Zuwendung
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