11 Types of Animals Like Prairie Dogs In 2024(With Photos)

Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 06:45 pm

In the expansive realms of nature, animals like prairie dogs stand out as small, rodent-like wonders, celebrated for their social finesse and adaptability in various environments. With distinctive features such as short, stocky bodies, a grass-centric diet, and the ability to thrive in large colonies, prairie dogs carve a unique niche in the animal kingdom. Yet, the revelation that other animals share many remarkable characteristics adds an intriguing layer to their story.

Curious about animals like prairie dogs? Prepare for a delightful surprise! Meerkats, chipmunks, and the Yellow-Bellied Marmot are just a glimpse of the striking resemblances. But the intrigue doesn’t stop there; the American Beaver, Domestic Ferret, and American Mink also share uncanny looks. In this article, we’re unraveling the stories of 11 different animals that, in one way or another, echo the charm of prairie dogs.

Let’s take a closer look!

11 Animals Like Prairie Dogs

1. American Beaver

 American Beaver Like Prairie Dogs! American Beaver eating pieces of wood floating in the water
  • Scientific name: Castor canadensis
  • Size: 2.4-3.1 ft
  • Weight: 24-71 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: they are also part of the rodent family and are native to some of the same regions.

American beavers, though larger than prairie dogs, share a commonality—they belong to the rodent family and inhabit similar regions in North America. Like prairie dogs, they are herbivores.

Beavers primarily consume aquatic plants, roots, tree bark, and vegetation, showcasing their prowess as builders through the construction of sturdy dams in running water.

These skilled swimmers can dive for up to 15 minutes, employing a unique adaptation of closing their ears and nose to keep water out when submerged.

2. Chipmunk

Chipmunk Like Prairie Dogs!
Chipmunk is eating nuts

image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Tamias
  • Size: 7-8.5 in
  • Weight: 2.3–5.3 oz

How are they like prairie dogs: they, too, belong to the rodent family, sporting a strikingly similar brown appearance.

Chipmunks, part of the common North American rodent family, share lineage with prairie dogs. Despite being smaller, they boast a similar light brown coloring.

Thriving in woodlands with ample trees and shrubbery, chipmunks utilize pouches inside their cheeks to store and transport food like seeds and nuts.

These resourceful rodents create burrows underground, connecting them through intricate tunnels. Preferring forested areas or brushlands abundant with rocks, logs, and tree stumps, chipmunks exemplify adaptability in their chosen habitats.

3. Yellow Bellied Marmot

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Marmota flaviventris
  • Size: 17-28 in
  • Weight: 6-15 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: Additionally, sizable rodents inhabit the western United States.

Yellow-bellied marmots, akin to prairie dogs, are robust rodents prevalent in the western regions of North America. Taking refuge in burrows, they undergo winter hibernation.

Whether in grasslands or under rocks, these marmots expertly craft their burrows based on the terrain. They exhibit both solitary and communal living arrangements, with hibernation lasting 7-8 months, causing them to lose up to two-thirds of their body weight during this period.

4. Meerkat

Animals Like Prairie Dogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Suricata suricatta
  • Size: 9.8-14 in
  • Weight: 1.6 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: they share strikingly similar appearances and burrowing habits.

Meerkats, native to Africa, bear a striking resemblance to North American prairie dogs. Like prairie dogs, they engage in burrowing, creating intricate tunnel systems.

Meerkats live in social groups, displaying a similar scouting behavior during grazing times. Their bushy brown fur and distinctive dark eye patches make them easily mistaken for prairie dogs.

Despite these similarities, meerkats are omnivores, consuming vegetation, insects, and small reptiles, with a carnivorous inclination towards beetles, spiders, termites, scorpions, lizards, and small snakes.

5. Pocket Gopher

Animals Like Prairie Dogs

Image Source Pinterest

  • Scientific name: Geomyidae
  • Size: 5-14 in
  • Weight: 1-2.2 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: they inhabit comparable shelters and share strikingly similar appearances.

Pocket gophers, much like prairie dogs, burrow underground for shelter, sharing a similar appearance with these rodents. Sporting brownish fur, they can also exhibit black and grey hues.

Found in North American woodlands and farmlands, these gophers dig burrows approximately 5 feet underground.

With around 41 species, they excel in constructing intricate tunnel systems, aided by a unique adaptation—closing their lips behind their incisors to prevent dirt from entering their mouths while digging with their teeth.

6. American Mink

Animals Like Prairie Dogs
  • Scientific name: Neovison vision
  • Size: 13-18 in
  • Weight: 1.1-3.5 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: Found in comparable regions, they also seek shelter by burrowing.

American minks, part of the weasel family, share regions with prairie dogs. Like prairie dogs, they create burrows, often in dry areas of North America.

However, they prefer coastal, lakeside, or marshy environments for abundant water and shrubbery. Unlike prairie dogs, they actively hunt frogs, fish, small mammals, and birds.

Minks showcase versatile abilities—swimming, digging, climbing—and express joy through purring. Two existing species are the American and European minks.

7. Domestic Ferret

Domestic Ferret Like Prairie Dogs! Woman holding a Domestic Ferret in her hands and making love

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Mustela putorius furo
  • Size: 15 in
  • Weight: 1.5-4.4 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: they share a comparable size.

Similar to the American mink, domestic ferrets are also weasels. Popular as pets, they exhibit docile behavior with proper care.

Comparable in size to prairie dogs, they may share a brownish coloring. Domestic ferrets are commonly fed commercial dry food, but live mice or rabbits can be part of their diet.

A group of ferrets is amusingly termed a “business,” and the term “ferret” originates from the Latin word “furittus,” meaning “little thief.”

8. Muskrat

Muskrat Like Prairie Dogs! Muskrat is eating fruit

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Ondatra zibethicus
  • Size: 16–28 in
  • Weight: 1.5-4.5 lb

How are they like prairie dogs: they share a striking similarity in both size and appearance, belonging to the rodent family.

Muskrats closely resemble prairie dogs in size and body shape but are often mistaken for beavers due to their similar appearance. The distinctive feature is their long tail, aiding these semi-aquatic rodents in swimming through the water in their habitats.

Found in North America and Eurasia, muskrats inhabit both saltwater and freshwater.

They construct nests with underwater entrances (6 to 8 inches wide) for protection against elements and predators. Nocturnal by nature, muskrats are adept swimmers, capable of staying submerged for up to 17 minutes.

9. Northern Short-Tailed Shrew

Image Source Pinterest

  • Scientific name: Blarina brevicauda
  • Size: 3.7 to 5.3 in
  • Weight: 0.53 to 1.06 oz

How are they like prairie dogs: they, too, engage in subterranean burrowing and inhabit comparable regions.

The northern short-tailed shrew, found in overlapping North American regions with prairie dogs, is smaller but shares their burrowing behavior.

Despite poor vision, these shrews are formidable bug hunters, staying active throughout the year.

Solitary and voracious, they are among the few venomous animals, compensating for limited vision and smell with a fine sense of touch.

10. Kangaroo Rat

  • Scientific name: Dipodomys
  • Size: 3.5 to 5.5 in
  • Weight: 2.5 and 6.0 oz

How are they like prairie dogs: they share a robust resemblance in both size and appearance, belonging to the rodent family.

The kangaroo rat, akin in size and appearance to prairie dogs, inhabits regions of North America.

Exceptional chewers, these rodents can sprint at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Remarkably, they can live their entire lives without drinking water, relying solely on the moisture in their diet of roots, seeds, leaves, and beans.

Featuring a fifth toe on their hind feet for efficient digging, kangaroo rats boast two molars on each side of their upper jaws, allowing them to chew twice as fast as most rodents.

11. Pika

  • Scientific name: Ochotona
  • Size: 7 to 8 in
  • Weight: 25-45 lb 

How are they like prairie dogs: they exhibit a strong resemblance and share the trait of being herbivores.

Pikas share a similar appearance with prairie dogs, boasting rounded bodies and brown fur.

As herbivores, they dine on various flowers, grass, leaves, and vegetation. Native to Asia and North America, pikas live in colonies, thriving in mountainous regions. Unlike many animals, pikas don’t hibernate during the winter.

Final Thoughts

These 11 animals are like prairie dogs in various aspects, from their appearance to the shelters they inhabit. Some belong to the same rodent family, while others share a similar diet.

Hopefully, you’ve gained the knowledge to distinguish among these fascinating creatures.

For more insights, explore our lists of Animals With Big Foreheads or Animals With Big Lips.


1. Do all these animals hibernate like prairie dogs?

No, hibernation patterns vary among these animals. While some may hibernate, others, like meerkats and kangaroo rats, do not undergo hibernation. Each species has its unique behaviors and adaptations to different environmental conditions.

2. What animal resembles a prairie dog?

Several animals share similarities with prairie dogs, including meerkats, chipmunks, and yellow-bellied marmots.

3. What is the difference between a meerkat and a prairie dog?

While both are social rodents, meerkats are native to Africa, have distinctive dark eye patches, and exhibit different behaviors compared to prairie dogs.

4. What is bigger than a prairie dog?

American beavers are larger mammals than prairie dogs, sharing the rodent family and similar habitats.


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1 thought on “11 Types of Animals Like Prairie Dogs In 2024(With Photos)”

  1. Hi my loved one I wish to say that this post is amazing nice written and include approximately all vital infos Id like to peer more posts like this

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