Which one do you choose if you are given the choices of hamster vs guinea pig vs gerbil? All these small animals are cut and very lovable so it is only normal if you find it hard to choose which one you will have as your pet. Each of them has certain characteristics and it is necessary to consider these aspects before adopting it.
Similarities of Hamster, Guinea Pigs and Gerbils
Before we discuss what makes them different to each other, perhaps we should discuss their similarities. All of them are mammals and furry animals that make them very cuddly. They have overload cuteness especially when they do certain things. They are small animals that are considerably smaller than cats and dogs. Given the fact they are herbivores, they only eat fruit, grains, vegetables, and other natural foods. Since they are considered small animals, they can get stressed quite easily especially if they live near bigger animals like cats and dogs except they have grown together with other animals.
Therefore, it is important to provide particular space for them far from other animals. Inside their cages, they love many bedding materials as they tend to make their own bedding areas and treat it like their nest. As for the food, all of them need both regular fresh food and dry food for balance. It is important to make sure they get the necessary minerals and vitamins in good amount.
Differences of Hamster, Guinea Pigs and Gerbils
They have many similarities and differences at once. Their size for instance is different. Of all three of them, the guinea pigs are the biggest with hefty size especially over the smallest of them, the hamster. In average, guinea pigs grow between 8 inches to 12 inches long while the hamsters only grow between 2 inches to 4 inches long and gerbils grow from 5 inches to 6 inches long. So, you can say that the hamsters are the dwarfs.
Their life expectancy is also different. Guinea pigs require long term commitment as they can live up to 7 years. Hamster has the shortest life expectancy while the gerbils also have shorter life expectancy compared to guinea pigs. Make sure they live a stress-free life so they can live longer and happily being your pet.
If you choose hamster then you should be ready to not be really enjoying sleeping at night because hamster is a nocturnal animal. Meanwhile, guinea pigs are different because they usually choose to be awake at daylight. But be ready because guinea pigs tend to make lots of noises while awake like making assorted noises, screams and lots of chirps. They may be noise but they are still very cute.
All of them including hamster, gerbils and guinea pigs love regular human interaction. At least, spend 15 minutes every day to let them being outside the cage and socialize. It is a way to keep them happy and healthy. If you choose guinea pigs, you will have jolly and sociable small animals.