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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My friend is ready to own a hamster again. Anyone recommend a good shop in Vancouver, Richmond or Burnaby that easily accessible by transit. Preferably a shop that takes good care of the animals and has a decent variety? Unless anyone knows of any rescue/adoption places they can recommend?

So far we've been to:

Aquariums West
PJ's

Cheers!
 

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If your friend is not dead-set on a hamster I would suggest a rat, they make wonderful pets and come in many colour and coat types.
 

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I highly suggest a rat too. They are much more personable, much like a dog, and WANT to hang out with you. I find hamsters just sleep when we want to play with them. :lol:

If your friend has a problem with "big rat tails" like I do I would suggest getting a baby. I got my 3 when they were just 2 inches big. They grew to be about a pound each (big males) but I never saw them bigger than a baby for some reason. I still get squeamish when I see adult rats with their thick tails but was fine with mine.
 

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I third the rat option - if your friend is interested. Little Mischief Rescue is great, I've adopted several rats through them now. :) But definitely do some research and get a pair or trio and not just one, rats are very social and need a friend!
 

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I fourth the rat option! :D I had a hooded rat - Marty - and he was an awesome pet, full of personality, and really friendly.

That being said, my son just got his first hamster this weekend...a panda bear he named Salty.
 

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I wonder if I should use this topic to ask about budgies :) My kids and I were thinking about a pet other than fishes for a long time and from my research a rat would be a nice one, lots of people say it is like a dog. But I don't know if I would enjoy a rat really.
I had a budgie for a big part of my life and suggested it, they LOVED the idea and now are really into it. But I am not sure where would be the best place to get one. Or maybe still reconsider and get a rat....
Off topic, I know, but I will follow the thread. thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
My friend is definitely set on a hamster. I think the "big rat tail" makes her uncomfortable. Btw, are rats nocturnal like hamsters and can you keep more than one rat together? I know hamsters are solitary, but rats seem more social. I think hamsters are more pleasant to look at, but rats are definitely way more entertaining, but since it's not my pet I can't do much about it.

We will be making a trip to the rescue very soon :) Does anyone know if we can just drop in and see the animals or do we have to fill out the online app ahead of time? What is the process like and how often do they update the animal listings on the site? I noticed that some are from a few months ago.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I know PJ's Pets has Budgies. They had about 30 in one display/glass thing. Looked a bit crowded to me.
 

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I wonder if I should use this topic to ask about budgies :) My kids and I were thinking about a pet other than fishes for a long time and from my research a rat would be a nice one, lots of people say it is like a dog. But I don't know if I would enjoy a rat really.
I had a budgie for a big part of my life and suggested it, they LOVED the idea and now are really into it. But I am not sure where would be the best place to get one. Or maybe still reconsider and get a rat....
Off topic, I know, but I will follow the thread. thanks :)
If you buy a handraised baby from a breeder you will get a more enjoyable pet. Check the kijiji ads, there are usually some available. Budgies are very sweet little birds if tame. If you don't want to handle it be sure to get two.

Rats are also a lot of fun! you get over the tails pretty quick ;)
 

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My friend is definitely set on a hamster. I think the "big rat tail" makes her uncomfortable. Btw, are rats nocturnal like hamsters and can you keep more than one rat together? .
Rats are up at night.... and during the day.... rats are up when you're up if you want to play! I think they make better kids pets as they are less inclined to bite than hamsters. Rats also like friends so getting a same sex pair is a good idea.
 

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Ohhh... I'm sorry.... I didn't intend for that to rhyme LOL

Here is a pic of one of my baby dumbo rex rats, I gave this one to a friend of mine:

 

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It is a cutie :) After some reading and videos today, now the kids really want a pair (same sex) rats. They love the idea of a pet that enjoys the company and all that. My main worry is they won't enjoy the budgie as much as I did as I get the idea they want to hug and touch their pet. We are babysitting a rabbit for the Summer and I see the way they want to interact with it.
I know budgies pretty well and I love them. I guess I would love the rats as well as they are so social. Hard decision :)
 

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Not too hard a decision...get both! Our kids adore their lovebird - but they would love to get ahold of a 4 legged creature as well.
 

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I had a budgie growing up until I was a teen. Some a-hole came on to our apartment porch and opened the cage. My mother got a couple more after that but it was never the same. None of them compared to my guy.

I think rats are really good for kids. They love to be handled and just hang out with you. My kids would take them outside with them in their pockets. They never wanted to run away. When I was down to one after 2.5 years he was so lonely that if I was home he had to be out with me or he would chew his cage nonstop. He shared many dinners with me and popcorn while laying in bed watching movies. I don't mean to sound cold hearted but rats will only live up to 3 years. If your kids lose interest at least you don't have a long period to take care of them. But, if they don't lose interest be prepared to never live without a rat again! :lol:
 

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Hm.. I posted here, but now I don;t see it.
I said I have to pick one pet as we already have the fishes, and more pets to help with would be too much for ME.
Everything I read about rats makes me think they are what we need! My kids love to hug and play with the pet. And if I tell them they can have the rat out in their pocket, we will need to RUN and get them TODAY :) They will absolutely LOVE that.
The only downside is the lifespan, 3-4 years is not long, I am not sure how they will cope with losing them...
 

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Mine were 2-3 years, first went at 2, almost to the day, the last went 2 months before his third birthday. Loss is part of life, we all have to deal with it. The way I taught my kids was that we rescued another living being that didn't have a home and when these ones pass then we'll have room to save more. We didn't go the rat route again, though I am bugged constantly, but now we have fish. My daughter wavered on whether to put a goldfish or a rat in her 55 gallon... she decided on a goldfish but still bugs for a rat. Only reason we can't have a rat is because we have one young cat that is an incredible hunter (3 outside rats this year have been brought into my house) so I explained that we really couldn't risk our "pet" losing its life to the stupid cat.

I do highly suggest going to a rescue or a breeder, not a pet store. The reason being is that pet stores don't interact with their animals on a daily basis (other than to feed them) and you're more than likely to get one that's not too friendly. That would definitely turn the kids off. My rats were born in the rescue and the woman's kids handled them every day. They actually prefered to kids to me, believe it or not!
 

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Thanks a lot for all the great information. If we go that route, we will definately get a baby/small one from a rescue or a breeder, I don't like stores for pets, especially the one that need attention and interaction.
Kids are bugging constantly, especially now, as they know this Sun we're returning the rabbit we've been babysitting for about 8 weeks.
I checked the rescues sites that have been posted and they do have some little ones, but we're very busy for the next 2 weeks, so there is enough time to read more before we take them or a budgie.
Thanks a lot again!
 

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I wouldn't count on them only having what you see listed. The majority of the female rats they take in are usually pregnant and with the amount that they have and the care required they aren't usually efficient in updating their site. When you go see them you will understand what I mean. I really don't know how they do it!

Good luck.

Oh, and there is a bird rescue as well out there. I have never dealt with them personally but from a quick peek they seem to have what you're looking for as well.

Greyhaven
 
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