Here Are The Top 8 Best Pet Rodents in The United States

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If you're on the hunt for an adorable and one-of-a-kind pet in the US, rodents are an excellent choice. They serve as perfect first pets for young children and generally demand minimal care. Unlike dogs and cats, pet rodents have a shorter lifespan, typically ranging from two to six years, although chinchillas can live up to a whopping 20 years. So, without any more delay, here are the most popular rodents that Americans love to keep as pets:


1. Hamsters

a Hamster

Hamsters are usually great pets for families, but are never leave the be left alone with small children. These little critters get scared easily and can become defensive when they're frightened. So, before you go ahead and touch your hamster, make sure to let it know you're there. You can also gently and slowly wake it up before attempting to handle it. On average, hamsters live for about 18 to 36 months, but if you're looking for a longer companion, the Syrian hamster breed is more likely to live longer than the dwarf varieties.


2. Guinea Pigs

A Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are widely regarded as fantastic pets. However, it is advisable to do your homework before bringing any pet into your home. If you're looking for a low-maintenance companion, guinea pigs are an excellent choice. Not only do they have delightful personalities, but they also provide endless entertainment. Usually, guinea pigs live for about 5-6 years, although some may live even longer. These little critters are incredibly active, spending up to 20 hours a day on the move and only taking short naps. Since guinea pigs are highly social animals, it's best to keep them in pairs.

In the United States, the average cost of a guinea pig from a breeder ranges from $25 to $50. However, the actual price you pay can vary depending on the breed you choose and, occasionally, your location.

3. Gerbils

A Gerbil

Gerbils are generally known to be friendly, active, and gentle pets who adore digging and creating their own little burrows and tunnels. These furry critters are also quite intelligent and enjoy playing with toys. However, unlike hamsters, gerbils are incredibly sociable rodents and can suffer greatly from a solitary life. Further, gerbils aren't for everyone, as there are a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding to bring them into your home. And if you happen to reside in Hawaii or California, it's actually against the law for you to own gerbils.

4. Rats

A fancy Rat

Throughout human history, rats have received a bad reputation due to their ability to spread numerous nasty diseases. However, many Americans who share their homes with domesticated rats can vouch for their intelligence, charm, and sociable nature. The most popular rat species kept as pets in the United States is the Fancy rat. These adorable creatures typically have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years, although some can live a bit longer. According to the Washington Post, Fancy rats are specifically bred to be friendly and inquisitive companions. In the US, their price can vary from $25 to $100 each, depending on their family lineage.

5. Mice

Mice

Mice are incredibly social rodents. However, unlike rats, they aren't too keen on physical contact with humans. Nonetheless, having a pet mouse is a breeze since they're quiet and don't require much space. With proper care, these little critters can live up to a solid 4 years.

6. Chinchillas

A Chinchilla

Bred and farmed for their soft and dense fur, chinchillas are clean, quiet, and attractive rodents that do not emit any unpleasant odors. These adorable creatures can live for an impressive 10-20 years, but they tend to be quite shy, making them more suitable as pets for adults and older children. In the United States, chinchillas are considered exotic pets, which explains their somewhat hefty price tag. Typically, pet stores charge $150 or more for a standard gray chinchilla, while specific colorations can fetch prices of $2,000 or even higher.

7. Degus

A Degu

Degus are adorable and sociable little rodents that can make wonderful pets. However, they require a significant amount of care and shouldn't be chosen on a whim. Since degus are not commonly kept as pets, it is highly recommended to register them with a specialized veterinarian who deals with exotic animals. With regular handling and starting from a young age, degus can become quite tame. These playful and inquisitive creatures, like many other rodents, have a natural inclination to chew on just about anything they can get their paws on.

8. Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are lively, playful, and resilient rodents that can become quite affectionate exotic pets if you get them when they're young, socialize them well, and shower them with attention. In the US, you can expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $500 to bring a prairie dog home. However, owning a prairie dog is against the law in certain states like Hawaii, Georgia, Colorado, and California. So, before you eagerly invite these adorable critters into your abode, make sure to check your local animal regulations.

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