See 2017 Updates linked at the bottom of article.


Superintendent – 


Level 1, Pet Pals - 4-Hers in grades 3 - 5

Level 2, Scurrying Ahead - 4-Hers in grades 6 - 8

Level 3, Scaling the Heights - 4-Hers in grades 9 -12


Members may choose to exhibit any combination of live animals, a poster, and/or present a Project Interact detailing some aspect of the Pocket Pets project. The poster and Project Interact options may be in place of or in addition to the live animal exhibit. Posters must meet poster guidelines described in 4-H Fair Exhibit Information section of this handbook and relate to some area of the manual the member is currently using. Posters will be entered and judged on the same date and time as the animals. Project Interact guidelines are also found in this section. Members wishing to give a Project Interact are to set up a suitable time with the project superintendent(s) one-week prior to the 4-H Fair.


1. 4-H members must enroll in the Pocket Pet Project on their enrollment card before February 1.

2. The 4-Her must also complete three activities from the Pocket Pet Manual before the fair. This manual MUST be turned in when the animals are checked in at the 4-H Fair. If not turned in, you WILL NOT show.

3. Pocket Pets will only include: gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats.

4. All Pocket Pets must be in the possession and care of the 4-Her by May 15 of the current year. Only these Pocket Pets will be exhibited. No "replacements" will be permitted. You may enter a poster in place of your animal.

5. The completed record sheet must be turned in by Thursday of the 4-H Fair. The Pocket Pet record sheet must be in your green folder with your other record sheets.

6. Pocket Pet posters are also entered on Saturday morning between 8 and 8:45 a.m. in the Coliseum. Posters must meet requirements for posters (see poster section of handbook).


1. Members may exhibit a single animal or a pair of animals of the same species.

2. The pets will be judged on the following:

a. general health and appearance

b. cleanliness, grooming

c. handling (by 4-Her and judge)

d. knowledge of the animal

3. Animals must be brought in their own cage and the 4-H member will furnish all other supplies. Animals should be in a cage, not a plastic tub or bin (such as a Rubbermaid container) or in a pet taxi. Animals will return home on completion of their judging. No overnight stay.

4. No cedar bedding should be brought to the exhibit.

5. Guinea pigs may not be exhibited in glass cages, because of heat issues.

6. A champion and reserve champion will be selected in each level for each species.

7. A grand champion animal will be selected for each species.