Is a miniature donkey the perfect pet for you? 0 38

Often overlooked in a world of unusual pets you don’t need to live on a farm to home a miniature donkey. With their adorable size and gentle nature, mini donkeys are an ideal pet for families with children. Mini donkeys, however, can be as stubborn and as big of a commitment as children can be. With the ability to form lifelong bonds with their owners, mini donkeys are a rewarding unusual pet.

Is a mini donkey right for me?

Donkeys and horses ascended from the same ancestors but millions of years of adaption later has caused them to be two very different creatures. Miniature donkeys are widely found to be very sweet-natured but also very stubborn, your donkey will have a personality of its own and may need training to ensure its good behaviour. For mini donkey pet advice, consult with a vet and make sure to do thorough research.

What to consider

No doubt thanks to Eeyore, donkey’s have a reputation for being solitary and unintelligent, this is however not the case. Miniature donkeys require mental stimulation and companionship, so before investing in your miniature donkey consider the time, affection and important pet care that will go into caring for your mini donkey. Donkeys have excellent memories and love affection, so they will remember every hug and pet!

Give your donkey a happy home

Miniature donkeys do not enjoy adverse weather conditions and require access to shelter 24 hours a day, and access to a water trough 24 hours a day. Miniature donkeys can become overweight very quickly which can cause multiple health conditions so your donkey must have regulated access to pasture or carefully weighed amounts of hay to keep them happy and healthy!

Miniature v standard donkey

There are few actual genetic differences between miniature donkeys and standard donkeys except that miniature’s stand at around 36 inches tall, this makes them not only adorable but more suited for smaller paddocks. However, miniature donkeys will become very stressed if not kept with another donkey or equine friend.

A miniature donkey is the ideal smaller alternative to a standard donkey, and is a lifelong friend with the average lifespan of 30 years!

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Is it easy to take care of a pet rat? 0 43

Pet rat

Rats get a bad press when it comes to being a pet. Often thought of as vermin and feared by many, pet rats actually have lovely personalities and are surprisingly low maintenance to keep.

As with all pets you need to look after them properly, so here’s our pet care advice on how to take care of your rat.

Get a pair (of the same sex)

Rats are social creatures and it would be cruel to keep one on its own. However, don’t fall into the trap of buying a male and a female. Rats can breed from five weeks old, their litters can be as big as eight babies, and the female can get pregnant again in 24 hours. That’s a LOT of rats to deal with.

Buying a pair of the same sex will solve this problem and provided they are socialised well together when they are young they should get on well.

Get a decent sized cage

Rats need a large wire cage because they love to climb (and they can gnaw through anything less substantial). The bigger cage you can get the better because rats are really active creatures. Get one with a solid bottom, away from draughts and direct sunlight.

Believe it or not you can train rats to use a litter tray just like a cat so that the rest of their cage is dropping free.

They will need a nest box, something like a cardboard or wooden box with shredded paper or straw in.

Feed them a healthy diet

You can buy food specifically for rats at pet food stores, but rats also like grains and vegetables. They love eating scraps, but give these sparingly as they can easily put on weight which will reduce their lifespan.

Make sure they always have a supply of clean, fresh water.

Keep them entertained

Rats need time out of their cage – at least an hour a day. Make sure the room is rat proof and even tiny holes are sealed up to avoid escape. Rats are sociable creatures, so make sure you spend time handling them, as well as playing with them.

It’s important to keep them entertained – so make or buy toys to put in their cage that will give them something to do.

The must-know basics of caring for a ferret 0 53

Pet ferret in a cage

Ferrets can be a great alternative to cats and dogs for animal lovers looking for something a little different. They are domesticated animals, with the propensity to develop deep bonds with their owners. However, they are also incredibly energetic animals, often requiring more time and attention than more popular species of pets. To decide whether a ferret is for you, read the following pet care advice every ferret owner should know.

1. Make sure your ferret gets enough play time

Ferrets are very social animals and tend to be happiest when in small groups. In this way, ferret owners are often encouraged to adopt at least a pair of ferrets so that they will have companionship and a partner to play with. In terms of play, ferret owners should be aware of the highly inquisitive nature of ferrets and the need to provide them with playthings to nip and get rough with. If you don’t, you may find your furniture becomes the next best thing. (5 Fun Ways to Play with a Pet Ferret)

2. Invest in a decent cage

Ferret cages tend to be designed with their needs in mind, featuring two levels and a small dark hut for sleeping. Make sure the cage has enough space for your ferret(s) and add enough cosy materials for bedding. The cage and bedding should be washed at regular intervals.

3. Food

Ferrets are carnivores and meat is an absolute must in their diet. There are a number of specialised ferret foods available from pet stores, but make sure they are not too high in vegetable or grain matter as this can lead to health problems down the line. Generally speaking, ferrets can be fussy eaters, so it is best to buy their food little and often to avoid having to waste it. Always ensure that they have fresh water to hand.

4. Ferret-proof your home

As ferrets are so agile and able to wend their way through tight spots, ferret-proofing your home is an absolute necessity. Losing your ferret in the home can lead to them getting injured or even escaping. In this way, make sure any tight spots are kept to a minimum and make sure electrical wires are kept well out of reach.