Small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs or chinchillas, and degus are popular pets. What you should not forget, however: Unlike dogs or cats, for example, these animals are flight animals that instinctively run away from (supposed) dangers. With a lot of patience and love, however, you can usually keep your little animal tame. We give you tips.
Small Animals are Escape Animals
As already mentioned, if you want to tame your small animal, you must not forget that these animals are escape animals. So they will instinctively hide in their cave, in a corner, or in their herd when they sense perceived danger. Incidentally, this is one reason why you should always keep small animals together with at least two conspecifics. With this knowledge, one thing is required above all: a lot of patience!
Every Animal is an Individual
Regardless of which animal it is about: Every animal, like us humans, is an individual. For example, while some hamsters are very open-minded and tame very quickly, others never really lose their shyness. Some rabbits, for example, like to be petted, others do not like this close contact with people and prefer to stay with their own kind. You also have to be able to accept the latter, because the first priority is of course the welfare of the animals.
Patience and Time
In most cases, however, small animals can also be used for humans. Of course, what you primarily need for this is time and patience. But how do you start? When a new animal friend moves in with you, you should definitely give him time, in the beginning, to arrive in the new environment. A new environment is always associated with a lot of excitement and accordingly, your darling will initially be insecure and even fearful. So limit contact with the animal to observation in the first few days. Even though your presence, the noises, and the smell, the little ones begin to get used to you.
The First Approach
After a few days, you can start to actively make friends with your new roommate. The best thing to do is to use the food that you offer the animal. It will probably not eat straight out of your hand at first. In that case, you can place the treat a little further away so that it connects you with something positive (read: food) and notices that you do not pose any danger. You can also just place your hand in the cage so that your darling gets used to it. After a while, you can try to touch the animal. If it backs away, you should shift down a gear again – under no circumstances should anything be forced here!
Alternatively, you can let the animals approach you and take the initiative yourself. If you allow them to run freely, you can, for example, sit down and see what happens. After a while, the animals are usually very curious and seek contact themselves.