If you’re someone who loves animals, there’s a very good chance you have a pet. Most people like to either have a cat or a dog, or sometimes both, and they know there’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into taking care of them. And a lot of the time, the advice just stops there! It’s not exactly helpful, and a lot of people with young children (looking to learn some responsibility) could do with some tips and tricks in this department.

But being a pet owner can mean you own any domestic animal. It’s not just cats and dogs; it counts for the smaller beings such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and even fish. And there’s still some preparations you’re going to have to make to be sure you’re bringing your new small pet into a safe and happy environment!

The first trick is to know you’re not bringing in an animal you can’t get on with. If you’ve got a lizard in a cage and you’re very worried about ever opening the door, then maybe a snake or a gecko wasn’t for you. Once you own a creature you know you can handle, you can start making the right preparations for them. So here are a few ideas for crafting your home into a perfect space for your fluffy eared and small-footed creatures.

Grey and white Lion Head Rabbit

If You’ve Got a Rabbit On the Way

Rabbits are some of the easiest pets to keep. Rabbits can also live for about 10 or more years as well, so you’ll know you’ve got a companion for a long time on your hands! And that deserves a proper home based on principle alone; you can set up a rabbit run, hutch, pen, or even an obstacle course around your rooms, in a personalized and fun way. It’s great for exercising kids’ imaginations!

First, make sure you’ve got a good amount of money on your side, as you’re going to need to get your rabbit spayed/neutered. Rabbits breed very quickly, and you never know when one could get pregnant! You’re also going to need to look into pet-proofing your home as a second step, as a bunny can get into all kinds of nooks and crannies when you’re not looking!

Put your bunny’s cage or pen in a central location in your house, as this will be the easiest place to get to as well mean no one can forget about your little furry friend out in the garden or in a back room. Make sure you’ve got a litter box and a feeder at the least, and have some newspaper cuttings in the bottom of the box, then cover this with hay. Make sure there’s water always available as well, either from a bottle attached to the cage or in a bowl on the pen floor. And if you’re stuck for inspiration, you can find some ideas to work from visually here.

Tropical Fish Tank

If You’re Setting Up a Tropical Fish Tank

Fish are some of the easiest pets to keep, as long as you have the perfect environment for them to go into from the get-go. It’s no good getting an actual fishbowl and popping a goldfish or other traditionally ‘easy’ pet in it; there’s a good chance your new pet won’t last till morning. So take the time to go through all of the steps properly, and you’ll have a thriving seafaring community on your hands!

A freshwater tank is the best option if you’ve never kept fish before, and the fish you can keep in this kind of environment are usually cheaper as well. So you’re going to need plenty of water, some gravel to go on the bottom, decorations for your fish to house in and swim around, and the right temperature and chemicals to keep the water clean and perfect.

After you’ve bought the tank you want, you’re going to need to wash it out, and thoroughly. As you’re doing this, you can check for any leaks that might spring out of the lining between the glass sides; it’ll stop any chance of flooding later! Wash your gravel as well, and knead the dirt and grime out of the stones as you do it.

Line your base with the gravel, and try to get a base of about 5 cm all the way through. If you have any plants to go in your tank, now’s the time to plant them, and you’ll be secure in the knowledge they’ll take root as well! Then comes the filter, and you can find out more information about those all around the web; take plenty of advice!

Hamster in a coconut nest

If You’re Decorating a Hamster Cage

Hamsters are tiny pets with very big personalities when given the right environment, so if you’ve got a cage to decorate and house a tiny, fluffy friend in, now’s the time to get stuck in! You can DIY a lot of the decorations yourself, you can add in a background and apply it firmly, and you can have a lot of expansions to add onto your cage to give your hamster more roaming space. It’s very easy for animals to get bored, and that’s when they get lethargic, and you start to worry!

Hamsters don’t tend to mind their environments too much, as long as there’s plenty of burrowing room, and they feel secure. If you need some inspiration with decorations, you can also find a lot of cute tutorials on Youtube, such as the one below:

Ready to Adopt Small?

It’s going to be a nice change to your life, and still only requires you put minimal effort in. Of course, you can go all out in your effort to be the best pet owner ever, but you need to remember that these are living creatures depending on you. Always have some food and water available at all times, and clean out cages and pens at least once a month! The kids will love it too!

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