Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean the less savoury habits. I promise, you won’t find me scuffling around in the dirt eating bugs or worse (I’ll let you use your imagination here!). But while I was doing the daily clean out of my animals on New Year’s day, pondering which resolutions to settle on this year. It hit me. Some animal behaviours are definitely worth mimicking. These are my top three.
These cute little fluffy creatures really understand the importance of being together.
Guinea pigs are highly social animals. They love having friends and spending their days eating, sleeping and gossiping (ok, I made up that last one, but if you’ve ever heard guinea pigs squeaking to each other, you’ll know what I mean). The fact of the matter is that guinea pigs do better in a group. A lone guinea pig is often a sad guinea pig, which is why it’s best for them to always have a friend or two.
This is a rule I can get behind. If these last two years have taught me anything, it’s how important it is to reach out and spend time with family and friends. Whether in the real world or online, having someone there can make all the difference. So, this year, I will spend more of my free time with those I love, because being together makes me as happy as a gossiping guinea pig.
Here I’m talking about pygmy hedgehogs, rather than the wild variety. Pygmy hedgehogs don’t hibernate, but they are sleeping champions, often clocking up to 18 hours shut eye a day. My boy, Rhubarb, has perfected the art of sleeping anywhere. As a baby, he’d curl up asleep inside my jumper sleeve, which was extremely cute. Now, as an adult, he’s too big for most sleeves so usually drifts off in his snuggle bag or cosy, fleece lined hideout. But any cushion or sofa will do.
Being nocturnal, he spends most the day asleep, only getting up for a snack, quick play or cuddle. At night, he’s active and particularly loves a good run on his wheel in the early hours. But one thing he never forgets, is to get enough sleep. This is something I need to learn. The lure of Netflix, my phone or the internet are easy distractions that can make me stay up much later than intended. What’s more, the blue light they give off has been proven to interrupt sleep patterns and make it harder for us to fall asleep. Rhubarb doesn’t have this problem. So, I’m going to turn off my tech earlier and give myself time to have the sleep I need, just like a hedgehog.
Rats are wonderful pets. I see them as the dogs of the rodent world, they are cheeky, curious and clever, and always want to interact and play. They run, climb, wrestle each and scoot about until they wear themselves out and fall into a heap to sleep. This is on repeat, usually every couple of hours.
I need some of that energy! After a festive period mainly spent sitting and eating far too much chocolate, it’s time to move. Whether it’s walking, running or silly dancing with the kids, I want to get into a pattern of ‘little and often’ activity like my rats. So, I’m setting timers to move every hour. Let’s see what a difference it makes!
What are your new year’s resolutions? Have you been inspired by any of your pets? We’d love to hear from you so please drop us a message or post a comment to let us know.
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