About the 4-H Pets & Other Animals Project

Share your love of your favorite pet as you learn about animal care, feeding, housing, and management. Pets and other animals include small mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, etc. Cats and dogs have their own project categories.


Contact the Marion County 4-H office:


Pets & Other Animals Project Resources

You can learn more about how to care for your small pet by completing one of the project activity guides, based on your skill level:

  • Pets 1: Pet Pals
  • Pets 2: Scurrying Ahead
  • Pets 3: Scaling the Heights
  • Pets Helper's Guide

The following project manuals are available for pet rabbits:

Aquatic science manuals:

Project manuals may also be available to purchase at the Marion County Extension office, and older editions of manuals (if available) are free. Contact us to ask about availability!

Showcasing What You’ve Learned

You may enter animals that you have fed and cared for in the Marion County Pet Show at the annual Marion 4-H County Showcase. Animal categories may include:

  • Arachnids & Insects: Madagascar hissing cockroaches, millipedes, praying mantis, tarantulas, scorpions, and walking sticks
  • Aquatic: Crabs, fish, frogs, toads, mudpuppies, newts, and salamanders
  • Birds: All pet birds
  • Mammals: Ferrets, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, rabbits, prairie dogs, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, and sugar gliders
  • Reptiles: Lizards (non-poisonous), snakes (non-poisonous), and turtles
  • Any other animal may be exhibited upon approval of a Marion County 4-H Educator.

You can also enter a poster or notebook highlighting what you have learned through our Animal Education project.

Exhibit Guidelines

Score Cards

  • Pets/Small Animals Score Card
  • Judging is based on an exhibitor’s knowledge of the animal and how well the animal has been taken care of, including animal care, feeding, housing, and management.

Advancing to the State Fair

  • No, pets and other animals is a county-only project and only eligible for exhibition at the Marion County Showcase.

Cloverbuds (Grades K-2)


  • Enter a poster, notebook, or presentation and/or participate in showmanship with a stuffed model. A reference list must be included with your poster or notebook.
  • Due to liability issues with handling live animals, you may not enter/show live animals.
  • Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair.

More Pets & Other Animals Project Resources