The American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn.’s 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey shows that 6 million households in the U.S. share their homes with some 22.8 million small pets, a 25 percent increase since 2004.
Mice, hamsters, rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits, ferrets, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and degus, are proving that even if a creature is tiny, doesn't mean it's not loved.
And these pet owners are willing to spend money on their little buddies. The amount rabbit owners spent on toys, for example, quadrupled from $20 in 2004 to $83 in 2006. The dollars spent on nonsurgical veterinary care by guinea pig owners grew during that same time period from $28 to $58.
The fact that the "pocket-pet" segment of the industry is growing is of no surprise. It goes to show that the explosion of the pet industry is across the board, and not just in certain areas. In additional, smaller pets can be a bit easier to house, since they require less space, and usually less resources.