The tiny Degu looks like a cross between a mouse and a squirrel. But this adorable rodent ups the cuteness quotient. Degus are affectionate, gentle companions that love chewing on everything. It’s best to keep them in pairs or groups for optimal happiness. A large enclosure with adequate bedding is imperative so they can dig and burrow away.
These cuties need regular dust baths and make whistling sounds when grooming each other. Before committing to keeping them, check with city regulations where you live. Degus are illegal to own in several states since they are considered invasive species.
Scorpions are atypical pets that owners must not handle. But most pet scorpion species aren’t dangerous. If you’re interested but understandably nervous, start with the Emperor Scorpion. Despite the intimidating name, this is the most docile among scorpions. They don’t get aggressive unless threatened, and their stings feel similar to bee stings.
Emperor Scorpions are low-maintenance and clean, making them ideal for pet owners. Keeping them is legal in most places. Scorpion owners must provide proper care, food, and living conditions.
Pet turtles are perfect, low-maintenance pets — as long as you know what you are getting yourself into. Turtles can live for years, even decades, and require special enclosures with access to water. These shy creatures rarely come out of their shells, which makes them perfect companions for some owners.
When keeping turtles it's important to make sure you wash your hands enough. Note that selling and owning turtles with shells less than 4 inches is illegal in the U.S.
Gerbils and rats are closely related but belong to completely different species. They will fight if kept together! Gerbils are burrowing rodents native to Africa and Asia. Most pet gerbils you see are the adorable Mongolian breed. These fuzzy creatures are skittish in the wild. With regular handling, captive-bred gerbils become friendly and trusting of humans.
Even if handling isn’t your thing, watching gerbils frolic and play is fun. Plus, they’re not fussy about food and need minimal housing setup. Never grab gerbils by their tail, which can break and dislocate easily. While federal laws permit gerbil ownership, it is illegal in Hawaii and California.
What’s the first thing you should know about Wallaroos? They’re related to kangaroos. Safe to say that apartment living isn’t for them. Smaller than kangaroos but larger than wallabies, Wallaroos are active, curious animals.
Like its more-famous relative, this one’s also a jumper. Owners must provide large pastures or yards with secure fencing. Wallaroos tend to be shy but will warm up with kindness and positive reinforcement. Like all good things, earning their affection takes time. Anyone considering keeping one should check exotic pet laws in different states since Wallaroos may fall in that category.