Small animals remain very popular pets in the UK, but the variety of gift ideas available for each species can be wildly variable. Rabbits and hamsters seem to enjoy all the luck, while rats are seemingly still in the bad books. Meanwhile, fans of guinea pigs may well find themselves better provided for than their own pets!
Luckily, there’s an awful lot of crossover in terms of treats and toys between all the different types of small animals, and in a lot of cases you will be able to take a recommendation for one species and it will prove just as effective a gift for another.
In each of the following categories we have tried to focus on five key areas: things for your pet to eat, things for them to play with, places they can sleep, things that will keep them mentally stimulated and, most importantly of all, things that they can chew on.
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Gifts for rabbits
A great place to start in buying your rabbit a gift is a willow ball. These tangles of natural willow sticks are great for play, as well as gnawing, feeding and mental stimulation. Slide some pieces of dried fruit treats inside the ball and it will keep your bunny happily engaged for hours.
When they’re not out exploring and playing, rabbits need to feel well sheltered and secure. We recommend buying them a cosy fleece blanket – this is not so much for sleeping beneath as it is an engaging area to tunnel under – and, for bedtime, a hard-wearing and versatile Ware Rabbit Den.
Gifts for hamsters
Everyone knows the most fun you can have with a hamster is to take advantage of its love of tunnelling and exploration. With this DIY hamster tube set you can design and set up a new course for your pet to discover every day. There is also this wooden maze, in which you can hide all kinds of treats and chewable toys.
For gnawing, look no further than this all-natural set of chew toys and for bedtime, your hamster can now snuggle down inside a larger, wider-mouthed version of themselves. Finally, if you’re looking for a treat to give your hamster this Christmas, how about this seeded gingerbread man from Pets at Home?
Gifts for guinea pigs
Guinea pigs seem to inspire more gifts for their owners than they do for themselves. However, your pigs will still find plenty they will enjoy in these selections. First of all, a good woven grass mat is always a favourite with guinea pigs. Once they have chewed it up good and proper you can also buy them a fleece mat to snuggle on on carpets, furniture or laps without covering anything in guinea pee.
Another great gift for a guinea pig is a play pen, a safe area that will allow them to explore the house without getting themselves into too much mischief. Then, at mealtimes, they can eat their vegetables from their own personalised bowl. Finally, at bedtime, they can get comfy in their very own Pigloo guinea pig bed.
Gifts for rats
Rats remain one of the most unfairly maligned animals out there, so what better way to show them your appreciation than by buying them some gifts? Rats are extremely intelligent creatures and as such any treats or toys that will also stimulate their brains are always a bonus.
This striped maple log is a great way to feed your rat while also exercising their grey matter. As an additional bonus, it is also a great thing for them to chew on to keep their gnashers in tip-top condition. The same can also be said for this Christmas Pudding rattan gnawing toy, especially if you slide some of your rats favourite treats inside.
Another excellent way to keep your rat’s brain sharp and body trim is by gifting them this rope perch. Originally designed for birds, it is a great way for rats to get around their enclosure while also giving them a full workout.
Finally, what better way to make your rat feel appreciated this festive season than with this Edible Forage Gift Box? Literally every part of this box is edible, from the container to the hay-filled innards studded with tasty treats.
Gifts for other small animals
Hopefully if you are the proud owner of a mouse, gerbil, chinchilla or degu you will already have seen some ideas that will be suitable for your pet. So instead, let’s focus on two gifts that any small animal will be delighted to receive this Christmas.
The Pets at Home small animal Christmas dinner plate is a heaving platter of goodness, featuring sisal, wood, rope and rattan. Hopefully this dinner plate will last longer than your own, and keep your furry friend occupied for days. For an even more indulgent present, they also sell a treat hamper.
Most importantly of all, for all your small animals, perhaps their favourite present of all will be the cardboard box that their gift came in, so remember to not just throw it into your recycling bin!
Gifts for small animal lovers & owners
If you are looking to buy a gift for a guinea pig or a rabbit enthusiast, you are definitely in luck. Everything Bunny Rabbit and Everything Guinea Pig are absolutely packed with presents and ideas. Our particular favourites are the needle felting craft kits and the decopatch ceramic kits. Both are available for both rabbits or guinea pigs and can either be given as gifts as they are or made by you into personalised gifts.
Everything Bunny Rabbit and Everything Guinea Pig don’t just stop at craft kits, either. These ceramic ornaments may look simple but each one is packed with charm and character. Again, they are available in both rabbit or guinea pig varieties. Meanwhile, for the rat lover in your life this holiday season, how about a personalised Christmas bauble to hang on your tree?
Charms, keychains and pendants
We’re not entirely sure why, but the hamster has very much cornered the market on keyring pendants and other personal charms. You can check out a wide selection in wood, metal or fabric on Etsy here, or if a plush hamster keyring is more your style Amazon have got you covered.