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Mice as Family Pets

Mice are inexpensive, humorous, and cute—one or more might make a good pet for you and your family. With that being said, there are some considerations to make before impulsively purchasing mice for your home. Here, an Indianapolis veterinarian discusses how mice may or may not fit into your family dynamic and schedule.

Time

Compared to a dog or cat, mice generally require less of a time commitment, but that doesn’t mean they require no time at all. Your mouse will be happier if you spend time with him daily, handling and interacting with him during playtime. In addition, a mouse’s cage will need to be cleaned once a week. Male mice generally emit a stronger aroma and their housing may need to be cleaned and refreshed even more frequently. Ask your vet about cleaning schedules and playtime with your mice before you purchase one or more.

Money

Mice are certainly cheaper than a larger animal, but money still needs to be invested. Consider all of the items you’ll need to purchase: a cage or aquarium, bedding, a water bottle, food dishes, an exercise wheel, a hideout, toys, and treats. It will add up, and with the ongoing cost of replacing bedding and food you’ll need to budget properly. Don’t be fooled by the initial inexpensive cost of the animal itself—supplies and other ongoing costs need to be factored in.

Consult your veterinarian about specific costs—he or she may even be able to work up an estimated budget with you.

Children

If you have young children, mice might not be the best pet for your family. Young children may be frustrated by the quick movements of a mouse, as they may be hard for them to catch. A child may also accidentally squeeze or drop the mouse. A frightened mouse will bite the hand that’s holding it, and your child may be the unfortunate recipient. Ask your Indianapolis veterinarian about the proper way to hold and handle mice.

Lifespan

Mice generally live between one and a half to three years. This could be a good thing or bad thing for you and your family. If you’re not looking to invest a decade or more into the family pet, as you might with a dog or cat, mice might be a good choice. If you have children and don’t want them to experience the passing of a pet at a young age, an animal with a longer life expectancy might be the way to go.

Time and money investments, your family structure, and the pet’s lifespan—these are only some of the considerations to make before deciding on a mouse as a pet. If mice are right for you, though, they can make wonderful, amusing, and unique pets. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not mice might be a good choice for you and your family.

 

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