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Thread: S/o small pets

  1. #1
    PunkyBoo is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default S/o small pets

    So all of you that have/had small pets, where do you keep them? I'm sort of maybe starting to consider possibly getting DS2 something furry-ish to help with his therapy (I think I'm leaning toward guinea pigs) but I'm struggling to figure out where we would put the cage. I would want them to be somewhere they can be part of the family/social and not out of sight-out of mind. But the need for space, appropriate placement (I assume not right next to a sliding glass door that gets very hot in the summer), not in the dining room (that kinda grosses me out -but I admit I'm really sensitive to yuck), but downstairs we have an open-ish floor plan. I don't know if I want critters to be the first thing you see coming into our house. We'd have room upstairs in the big play room which is where DS2 spends free time but then they'd be all alone up there a majority of the time, plus having food/water going upstairs and poop/mess traveling downstairs, and that room is carpeted...
    Our friends had their kids' pets in their bedrooms so DS1's best friend's bedroom smelled horribly (bearded dragons) but he was completely nose blind to it- I really don't want pets in the bedrooms.
    So where are your small pets?
    ETA- if you don't mind, please post photos of the cage setup- I don't know if they should be in the floor, on a table, by a window... Etc. Photos would help me visualize what might work here.

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    Last edited by PunkyBoo; 10-12-2021 at 11:32 AM.

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    We had our bearded dragon downstairs in the dining room for the first few years. We have one of those dining rooms that's just for looks though so the gross factor didn't come into play since there was no eating happening near it. The tank sat on a large buffet table on a blanket. He's been upstairs in the boys' playroom for the last 4-5 years now that they are older and spend more time up there. I do almost no work other than remind DS1 to clean the tank and occasionally mentioning that the lights need to be turned on/off. I was much more involved in his care when DS1 was younger. DD pet sat for our neighbor's guinea pig before she died last year. We always kept her in the dining room too. That was much messier though since bedding and timothy hay ended up falling out of the cage. I'd definitely pick a place where the pet will be seen but not in the middle of everything. I'm with you on the bedroom.

    As for the smell, that's likely a function of keeping the tank or cage cleaned out. DS1 bathes our beardie and cleans his tank out every week. We also don't keep feeder crickets, which are SO stinky. I rarely notice a stink when I walk into the playroom but when I have, it's because DS1 has fallen down on his job. I'm sure the same is true of a guinea pig cage.
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    AnnieW625 is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default S/o small pets

    My best friend growing up had a guinea pig (or two….not at the same time) and her dad (a carpenter) built a wooden lift for the cage to go on so the cage was window level (she had a first floor bedroom and the window was a low window….maybe 4ft off the ground) and then the cage was outside of the window on the lift so she had access to it from her bedroom. It worked out fine but not everyone has that option. She had the guinea pigs from 11 or 12 through most of high school.

    My brother and sister both had pet rats in middle school and high school. The rats cages were in their rooms. The rats were not super destructive but you had to be good about changing their cages.

    My brother also had a chinchilla in college and he liked to chew on things like the quilt on my brother’s bed (through the cage). Pretty easy to care and feed though.

    Kids I babysat had rabbits who almost had free range of the house and even though the owners swore the rabbits were litter trained I still found rabbit pellets in the house and it was gross.

    I personally don’t care for animals that can’t take care of their business outside so we don’t have small pets or cats because I don’t want to have to deal with cleaning cages or litter boxes.

    ETA: interesting fact about the chinchilla temp issues. We lived in the Sacramento valley and it gets hot there in the summer and we had no issues with it. The cage was in my brothers room which faced north. The chinchilla died of stomach issues when it was 3-4 years old, I think. The cage was also maybe 3x3.

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    Last edited by AnnieW625; 10-12-2021 at 06:09 PM.
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    We have our rabbit in the kitchen. He is at the edge of the kitchen island and is what you see when you enter our house from the garage. Rabbits are fairly silent pets so they don't bark when you enter. He has a kennel and is litterbox trained, but runs through the house some when we let him out. Since he is litterbox trained we just change the litter everyday or couple of days. It does not smell at all.
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    marinkitty is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    DD's chinchilla was on the landing by our powder room and main staircase (busy spot in our house) - he couldn't be anywhere in direct light or that got too hot (chinchillas are super temperature sensitive - can't get must warmer than 70 degrees) - his cage was huge - 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide. She did a full clean out and washed the liners once a week so as long as she kept up with that it didn't smell. She now has a hamster in her room in a glass aquarium. She cleans the cage out monthly and spot cleans weekly and there is no odor at all. She loves having him in her room and honestly with a hamster if it isn't in your room you might never see it since they really only come out at night.

  6. #6
    hbridge is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    The guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters were/are in the playroom/library. When we moved out some bigger toys, we put the huge C&C guinea pig cage in their place. The "tank critters" (hamsters and gerbils) are on a table in the same room.

    The fish tanks have been everywhere... family room, bedrooms, dining room (we have had both a salt and fresh water tank in the dining room at different times).

    The parakeet is in the living room. He was not supposed to be, but that is where he ended up. I had wanted one room to stay "adult"/"critter free", but here we are . It's good though since he is alone he also gets constant stimulation from people and the tv. He loves action scenes on the television and gets involved. Thinking it through, he would also do well in the family room, but we had a 20 gallon fish tank in the spot at the time we got him

    DC have never wanted a "little critter" in their room, however, I would be fine with that.

  7. #7
    ang79 is online now Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Default S/o small pets

    Great question! DD1 has her Beta in her room, so as DD2 is looking for a pet if her very own, I was thinking it would be housed in her room as well, as the dog doesn’t go in her room unless someone is with her in the room. But, the girls are in school from 7-2:30 each day, so the poor pet may get bored……

    Also, for those that have lots of pets, what do you do with them when you travel? We try to do weekend trips to visit my family a few times a year and at last 1 week for family vacation during the summer. With cats, leaving out extra food and water for 1-2 nights was ok, if we were gone longer we would have a friend drop by to check on them. And so far the dog has traveled with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by marinkitty View Post
    DD's chinchilla was on the landing by our powder room and main staircase (busy spot in our house) - he couldn't be anywhere in direct light or that got too hot (chinchillas are super temperature sensitive - can't get must warmer than 70 degrees) - his cage was huge - 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide. She did a full clean out and washed the liners once a week so as long as she kept up with that it didn't smell. She now has a hamster in her room in a glass aquarium. She cleans the cage out monthly and spot cleans weekly and there is no odor at all. She loves having him in her room and honestly with a hamster if it isn't in your room you might never see it since they really only come out at night.
    Does your daughter have any trouble sleeping with a hamster awake in the room? DD is worried a hamster squeaking on his wheel will keep her up at night. She is a pretty heavy sleeper once she falls asleep but she needs lots of good sleep or she is very grumpy the next day. And how large is the aquarium he lives in? It seems like that would contain things better and be less likely for the cat or dog to bother it if they got close.


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    Last edited by ang79; 10-12-2021 at 10:24 PM.

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    marinkitty is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang79 View Post
    Great question! DD1 has her Beta in her room, so as DD2 is looking for a pet if her very own, I was thinking it would be housed in her room as well, as the dog doesn’t go in her room unless someone is with her in the room. But, the girls are in school from 7-2:30 each day, so the poor pet may get bored……

    Also, for those that have lots of pets, what do you do with them when you travel? We try to do weekend trips to visit my family a few times a year and at last 1 week for family vacation during the summer. With cats, leaving out extra food and water for 1-2 nights was ok, if we were gone longer we would have a friend drop by to check on them. And so far the dog has traveled with us.



    Does your daughter have any trouble sleeping with a hamster awake in the room? DD is worried a hamster squeaking on his wheel will keep her up at night. She is a pretty heavy sleeper once she falls asleep but she needs lots of good sleep or she is very grumpy the next day. And how large is the aquarium he lives in? It seems like that would contain things better and be less likely for the cat or dog to bother it if they got close.


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    She has no issues with it and she isn't an especially heavy sleeper. His wheels are plastic - he has two - one that looks like a ferris wheel shape and one that looks like a flying saucer and sits more sideways at an angle. He's in a 40 gallon tank. It is HUGE. She did all the research and insisted he needed the space. He is honestly the size of a ping pong ball (dwarf) so it seems ridiculous but that little guy puts the miles on big time. At night he runs all over like a lunatic and races between wheels and his other structures. He has a sand bath, a boat like thing with ramps and a tunnel. His food is a mix of dried meal worms, a seed mix, a dried fruit mix and some protein and vitamin cubes. My DD researches the heck out of all pet related things and her animals get five star treatment. That's probably why he is currently at 50% past his longest life expectancy! We have three cats (had four but one died last summer) and so the hamster cage is bullet proof. She has a metal folding screen top on it with four clamps. The cats often lay on top of the cage staring down at him and they cannot get in. When she cleans the cage or takes him out to play they are locked out of her room. The rest of us almost don't know he's here - except that now that she's at college I feed him (she's home for fall break right now and she will do a cage clean now and again at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas so I've only had to do that once so far).

  9. #9
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    Our hamster is in the dining room but we have had to move him to DDs room during home renovation projects and it’s been no problem. Just make sure you get a good quality quiet wheel. And definitely research how much space they really need. Those cute little cages in pet stores are not big enough. They need a certain amount of square inches on at least one level for running around.


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    In the family room- they "talk" to us in the evening and greet us when we come home.
    Tracey

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