Let us rephrase: think twice before getting a pygmy pet.
Pygmy pets are touted as the cuter, more endearing versions of our favorite animals. From cats and dogs to donkeys and goats, these animals are visible on every social media platform. Pygmy pet parents take pride in their tiny friends, and they want to spread the love by upselling the idea of adopting one of these little guys.
For younger Millennials and Generation Z—really, anybody who is just starting out, financially insecure, and/or living in a small apartment with or without roommates—a pygmy pet might seem like an excellent alternative to, well, a normal-sized pet. You have a smaller living space and a smaller income, so it makes sense to get a smaller pet, right? Unfortunately, and as many young people discover shortly after adoption, this is not the case.
While pygmy pets might be smaller than the average pig, dog, goat, donkey, horse, &c., they require the same amount of care and the same amount of spending. In fact, most pygmy animals will require slightly more from you than a regular-sized animal; these small animals often develop a dependency on their parents, and their genetic backgrounds, which have resulted in their tiny size, may also come with a variety of genetic disorders. While there is no quantitative data to support these claims, the idea alone should make you re-think your decision.
The only way in which a pygmy animal is easier to handle is in size. They’re smaller animals, so they need less space. For some pygmy pets, such as hedgehogs, dogs, and cats, this is true; they can live comfortably in a small apartment without feeling too anxious. Other pygmy animals, however, require quite a bit of space, especially goats, donkeys, and pigs. Just because your pygmy pig weighed ten pounds when you adopted him doesn’t mean he’ll stay that size forever, and most of these animals need specialized habitats in order to thrive.
So, if you think adopting a pygmy animal will be easier than adopting a regular pet, think again. You’ll need the same amount of time, money, and resources to care for these tiny animals.