Gerbils

gerbils

 

Gerbils

Mongolian Gerbils were first introduced to the pet industry in 1964. Their value as pets was soon appreciated and they are now found in pet shops around the world.  It is illegal to purchase, import, or keep a gerbil as a pet in some areas due to the threat they pose to indigenous ecosystems and existing agricultural operations.

A common misunderstanding when purchasing a home for pet gerbils is that they can live in housing designed for hamsters and mice. This type of housing is unsuitable as they require the ability to be able to dig tunnel systems. The plastic structures of hamster and mouse cages are inappropriate for gerbils as they can gnaw through it very quickly. Plastic can cause serious health issues for the animal if ingested, therefore many owners refrain from having any plastic in the tank and rely entirely on wooden toys. While there is conflicting information from gerbil societies regarding habitat size, a common rule of thumb for aquaria is 10 imperial gallons per gerbil.

(image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fancy rats

fancy rats

 

Rats

Specially bred as pets since the 18th and 19th century, fancy rats now come in a wide variety of colours and coat types and there exist several rat fancy groups worldwide. Fancy rats are commonly sold as pets in stores and by breeders.

Domesticated rats are physiologically and psychologically different from their wild relatives, and—when acquired from reliable sources—they pose no more of a health risk than other common pets. While fancy rats are subject to different health risks than their wild counterparts, they are consequently less likely to succumb to other illnesses prevalent in the wild.

(image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fancy mice

fancy mice

 

 

Mice

Fancy mice are mice that have been selectively bred as pets or for show. They can vary greatly in size, from small pet mice that are approximately 16–18 cm (6–7 in) long from nose to the tip of the tail, to show mice that measure 30 cm (12 in) nose to tail. Pet mice weigh about 25–40 g (0.9–1.4 oz) but large show mice can weigh up to 100 g (3.5 oz).

Human-directed artificial selection in fancy mice has created a wide variety of colors and patterns. These include black, chocolate, blue, white, cream, lilac, red, fawn, champagne, cinnamon, golden agouti, silver agouti, silver and dove. All mouse standards fall into one of five categories: Selfs (one solid color all over), Tans (mice of one solid color on the top with a tan belly), Marked either in Even or Broken patterns (spotting of a standard color on a base of white) and a miscellaneous category.

(image courtesy of Wikipedia)