Degus, rabbits, hamsters… is 2024 the year to consider a new small furry pet?

December 7, 2023

Once all the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over and you’ve had time to decompress, you will be able to consider whether adding a new small furry pet to your family is a wise decision. Our team at Southill Vets want to make your decision a little bit easier by providing potential new pet owners in Wincanton information on each small furry pet!

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What to know about owning a small furry pet

Don’t let their physical size fool you – small furry pets require a lot of time but in return, they will provide you with loving companionship and hours of fun every day.


Before you decide on which small furry pet could join your family, make sure you have discussed their care regime and responsibilities. As well as daily fresh food and water, your pet will also need regular enclosure cleaning, enrichment, and exercise – all of which must be tailored to the individual pet and their needs. You must invest into a safe and secure enclosure for them and keep on top of preventative care to ensure your small furry pet will stay happy and healthy.

Families with small children will also have to take extra care when it comes to handling and exercising their small furry pet – as pure as their intentions may be, sometimes younger children are rougher when it comes to handling and they could easily injure your pet.

The veterinary team at Southill Vets urge those who are considering a small furry pet to do plenty of research on the care needs of that pet before purchasing. This way, you can set up the perfect environment for them before they even arrive at your home!

Popular small furry pets

Here are some of the most popular small furry pets we treat at our Wincanton clinic. For more information on any of these pets, contact us on 01963 33226 and we can arrange a discussion with one of our knowledgeable and experienced veterinary nurses.


Rabbits are popular pets and can be kept both indoors and outdoors. They need ample space, social interaction, and proper care to thrive. While rabbits can be great family pets, they often have delicate spines and can become stressed by improper handling, which can lead to injuries. They require careful and gentle interaction.

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are sociable and vocal animals that enjoy interaction. Southill Vets’ veterinary nurses advise that they require spacious enclosures and should ideally be kept in pairs or groups. They will definitely keep you entertained with their range of noises!


Different species of hamsters, such as Syrian hamsters and Dwarf hamsters, are popular choices. They are relatively low-maintenance and can be kept in cages. Some dwarf hamster species, such as Roborovski hamsters, are incredibly small and quick, making them difficult for young children to handle safely without accidentally injuring or losing them.


According to our pet-loving team at Southill Vets, gerbils are active and social animals that thrive in pairs or small groups. They require a larger cage with plenty of space for burrowing and digging.


Pet mice are known for their playful and curious nature. They require a secure enclosure and social interaction.


Domestic rats are intelligent and friendly pets that can form strong bonds with their owners. They need socialisation, mental stimulation, and a larger cage. Did you know that pet rats are called ‘fancy rats’?

Share photos of your ‘fancy rats’ on our Facebook page and make our day!


Ferrets are energetic and inquisitive pets that require mental and physical stimulation. They need a specialised diet and regular playtime, but their energy levels might be overwhelming for young children.


Chinchillas are known for their soft fur and playful personalities. They require specialised care, including dust baths and proper nutrition. Chinchillas have delicate bones and are easily stressed by loud noises or rough handling, which may not be suitable for young children.


Degus are social and active animals that require companionship and a larger cage with opportunities for climbing and exploration. They can be sensitive to handling and may not be suitable for young children who might not understand their needs.

Please note: many of these small furry pets are social animals, which means you will have to think about pet neutering or only keeping pets of the same sex to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Our vets can advise on neutering and other care for small furry pets. Contact our team on 01963 33226 for more information.

Register your small furry pet

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