I am sure this is controvercial, but, which are healthier? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I am sure this is controvercial, but, which are healthier?

People are steering me into getting a pair of gerbils instead of a hamster, saying they are less prone to succumb to illness at a young age. I live in an area with limited petstores, so I don't really know what I m going to encounter. I need a small, tame pet, and would prefer one with a longer lifespan. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:30 PM
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I don't see how it would be controversial...

I only ever had one gerbil and can safely say I will never get another one.I also do not think I am going to get hamsters again (I personally prefer rats and mice).My gerbil was high-strung,very fast and active and never wanted to be handled.I had her for a few yrs and the whole time I could never handle her.I had to transport her using a cup.

Everyone told me gerbils can be handled and tamed,but they are still high-strung,active animals.In your other thread you mentioned you didn't want anything too quick...so this is something to think about.

In all honesty if you want a friendly,sociable pet that bonds with it's owners...go with rats!




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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:32 PM
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Gerbils have a longer life span but hamsters tend to be tamer and easier to handle. Both have their pros and cons but personally, if its your first of either I would go with the hamster. Hamsters, are sturdier and are a good starter pet. They can both get ill, there isnt really any difference there. Gerbil pro's: They can live in pairs, they live longer (3-5 years), they can be good pets it treated right, they adapt to your schedule. Gerbil cons: They will chew through anything the can, they are very fragile, they can be hard to get along with, they are great at escaping. Hamster pro's: They are usually very freindly, dwarf breeds can live in pairs/colonys, they dont often bite, they are fairly low maintainance. Hamster cons: They are nocturnal so it may be hard for you to sleep, they on live around 1-3 years. Obviously you need to do the research before aquiring any pet. If this is your first rodent I would go with a pair of rats if possible. They are very freindly, not to big, not to small, the adapt to your schedule, they are fairly intelligent. Oh, and the tails IF possible I would look to adopt, or find a breeder before buying from a pet shop. Pet shop animals tend to be ill when bought, this is mostly a problem with chain pet stores, family owned ones tend to be fine, and you dont want to be supporting back yard breeders or mills. Welcome to PT by the way
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:44 PM
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Oh yes! I should mention,gerbils are very destructive.My ONE gerbil destroyed three plastic wheels,four plastic water bottles and the bottom of a cage,before I switched her to glass and metal.I never had ANY rodent so destructive as her.




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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 03:52 PM
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Gerbils are definitely hardier and longer lived. Part of me thinks it's because they aren't as over-bred as hamsters. But what's more important is where you get your rodents, any pet store rodent could be unhealthy.

Also, Syrian hamsters must be kept alone while gerbils must be kept in pairs or groups. Just something else to consider .




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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 05:16 PM
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Sorry to take it a bit OT.
Vanilla:
I guess you've never had a chinchilla... One of my females destroyed 2 waterbottles in 2 days >_<
They are near impossible to keep in plastic cages, and all plastic toys is a big nono

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchi View Post
Sorry to take it a bit OT.
Vanilla:
I guess you've never had a chinchilla... One of my females destroyed 2 waterbottles in 2 days >_<
They are near impossible to keep in plastic cages, and all plastic toys is a big nono
Degus are the same way. I've had a couple that weren't too bad but I've also had ones that destroyed cages, carriers, water bottles, dishes, etc.




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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchi View Post
Sorry to take it a bit OT.
Vanilla:
I guess you've never had a chinchilla... One of my females destroyed 2 waterbottles in 2 days >_<
They are near impossible to keep in plastic cages, and all plastic toys is a big nono
Nope,never had chinchillas or degus.Just rats,mice,hamsters,guinea pigs and the gerbil and while they all chewed,the gerbil was the most destructive!




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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 08:18 AM
 
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Gerbils live longer, are much hadier, smell less and are more friendly. A well tamed gerbil will never be skitty nor will they bite. All of my gerbils will sit on my hand and not try to run away
I have kept both hamsters and gerbils and gerbils make the better pet out of the 2
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 06:41 PM
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My gerbil was friendly,just hated being handled.She didn't run away from me,would come up to me and everything,but she would jump if you picked her up.I had her since she was a baby and worked with her daily and she never did like being handled.Kinda put me off from them.

But thats just my opinion.




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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 04:16 AM
 
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Gerbils need to be handled every day from day 1 in order for them to be really tame
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 09:05 AM
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Yes,I am aware of this and trust me,I tried DAILY.It didn't matter,she did not want to be handled and if I did manage to get her up,she would jump.I tried every single day,to no avail.It was her personality.




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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaRat View Post
Yes,I am aware of this and trust me,I tried DAILY.It didn't matter,she did not want to be handled and if I did manage to get her up,she would jump.I tried every single day,to no avail.It was her personality.
It was also possible that it was because she lived alone. I can't speak for gerbils but I know that some social animals are less nervous when kept in groups (many mouse species, cavies, etc.).




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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 08:34 AM
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She never seemed nervous.She would always come up to me,no problem.She just didn't like being handled.

I got her back in the day without research (I know...a no-no...I always research now) and thought her care was like hamsters.I assumed gerbils were solitary too.After I got her and researched I learned all this stuff.But I never got her a friend still.

And I now know I never want gerbils again.Too high strung for my liking.I am just going to stick with rats and mice.

But this thread is not about me...




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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:02 PM
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Neither of my gerbils liked being handled either. Lisa didnt do anything wrong, its just the way some gerbils are. I dont have much experience with gerbils since I have only had two that lived a week (pet store issues) and a foster when I was younger but gerbils arent the most freindly and definatley arent for me. I know alot of people have done great with gerbils like Marcia but for me its just not happening. I will never own another gerbil, fostering maybe but other than that gerbils are a no-no for me.
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