Small Animal Pets: In Pairs Or Alone?
Do small animals do better in pairs? Why? Is it necessary that you buy them in pairs for their well being?
Pets like friends. But not all pets do well when their with their own kinds. Here's a rundown of which pets like to be in pairs and groups and which do not.
Mice like to be in pairs. If you want to keep only one mouse in your house, you need to be sure to spend sufficient time with the animal. Mice need attention.
If you're going to add a second mouse to your family, it's best to let one mouse get used to its surroundings for awhile first. Then, a few weeks later, add the second pet. Keep them separated for awhile so they both get used to the home and give them supervised visits regularly. Then after a few days, they should be able to jump right in and be friendly with each other.
Rats like to be in pairs, too. No matter how much you love your rat and play and care for it, nothing takes the place of a rodent friend for your rat. No one knows a rat better than another rat.
With that said, there are some rules to keep in mind when getting a couple rats. Getting two female rats is usually a good bet. They get along well. Male rats should get along fine as long as they were raised together or properly introduced. Getting one rat of each gender may also not be a good idea, unless you want a huge number of rats roaming your house within a few months. Rats breed quickly and frequently.
Get your gerbils in pairs or groups. They like being around others of their same kind. The only major drawback to getting more than one gerbil is reproduction. If you put at least one male in the same setting as at least one female, look out. You're in for a family. And gerbil families can grow at an incredible rate. So, if you're new at gerbils, consider just getting a few that are the same gender, or just one, even though they like being together.
Some types of hamsters actually like being alone. A dwarf hamster likes being with another hamster, while Syrian hamsters get by best if they're alone. They're individualists, of sort. The best rule when it comes to hamsters is to do your research about the particular kind of hamster you have. Find out if your particular breed wants a friend or wants to be alone.