Guinea Pig Lovin’ – If you want to stray away from the typical rodent pet, getting a guinea pig would be perfect for you. Guinea pigs are like giant hamsters, which means they would need a larger cage to run around and do guinea pig things. Guineas also make great first rodent pets; however, they can live from five to 10 years. So, make sure wherever you go after college, you can bring your guinea pig friend along with you. REMINDER: Guineas can get pretty stinky, so cleaning out their cage twice a week is a must to keep the odor under control.
Fish – This is a pretty obvious one. If you can take care of a plant, then you can take care of a fish. All you have to do is feed it and clean out the tank every few days. Also, college dorms are more accepting about keeping a fish in your dorm. Depending on the type of fish you get, they could live for a few months to a few years. Just keep in mind the type of fish you decide to get. Some fish enjoy being with others, and some are loners. For example, Siamese Fighting Fish, aka Beta fish love being alone, but do not mind algae eaters such as snails or Bristlenose Plecos. REMINDER: Make sure when you change out their tank, the new water is at room temperature. Too hot or too cold of water could make the fish go into shock.
Lizards, Turtles, Snakes, Oh My! – These guys make nice pets because they really do not need a lot of space, unless you want to make an elaborate habitat for them. The No. 1 thing to remember is to clean out their cage because reptiles tend to smell pretty bad if in an unclean environment. It might not look messy in there, but it definitely is. REMINDER: Reptiles are cold-blooded, so they will need a heat lamp to keep their body temperature high to stay alive.
Hermit Crab – Probably one of the easiest and most low-maintenance pet to own, not to mention they are actually pretty fun! Hermit crabs need to be in a habitat as well. The cages with wires around them are not a suitable environment. Hermits love burrowing in sand and dirt, and because of this, there should be about four to six inches of digging material in their “crabitat.” There should also be extra shells available to your hermit so that he can change his home as he desires. Make sure to stray away from painted shells because the paint could chip off and the crab could ingest it, making him sick and could possibly result in death. Hermit crabs love being with other hermits, so having two or three at a time would be completely fine. REMINDER: Have a small water dish and a sponge in their crabitat, so they can soak their gills and drink water through the sponge.
Hamster – Sometimes called “pocket pets” because of how small they are, hamsters have the perfect pet appeal. They are small, furry, and really friendly (once they get handled). Fun fact, hamsters first became pets in the 1930s because of how easy they are to take care of and they have grown in popularity ever since. They only issue with hamsters is that they are masters of escape. They will chew through their plastic hamster house and run freely inside your apartment. If you do decide to get a hamster, buy a wire cage with a solid bottom so they not chew through it to freedom. Hamsters love playing, so a wheel, paper towel tubes and other toys make great time killers for hamsters. REMINDER: Most hamsters enjoy living alone; in fact, they tend to be more aggressive in a same-sex living arrangement. If you put two hamsters of the opposite sex together, you may soon have a zoo of hamsters.