Many parents want their kids to have a pet of some kind. It makes us feel like we are providing a joy for our kids, while at the same time teaching them some responsibility about caring for another living thing. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets but not everyone wants to keep their entire house pet safe and sometimes in can be too costly to own the dog or cat that you would like. One way to allow your child to have a pet and not have to ready your whole home is to get a small animal.
Any pet you choose will take responsibility on your child’s part and you will probably still have to remind him or her to feed the pet or get the cage cleaned but sometimes a smaller animal is easier for a child to bond with. They relate to them better than a large dog. We will go over some good pets for children here but do some more research or check out some books from the local library before making a commitment.
Hamsters are a common small animal pet. They don’t take up much space and are very inexpensive to take care of. They are quite small though and can be easily injured by rough play, being dropped, or squeezed too hard. Their small size also makes them easy to loose track of when they are out of their cage. Hamsters take some time to get used to their owner and can be defensive until they are comfortable being handled by your child. They are also nocturnal, making their time of activity late at night or early in the morning.
Guinea Pigs are not quite as common as hamsters but still a good choice for children. They are larger than hamsters so they are a little easier to handle and play with without getting injured. They are still small so rough play should be avoided. These pets will need a slightly bigger cage than a hamster but nothing overwhelming and a good small animal cage is easy to clean. Guinea pigs socialize with their owners more quickly than hamsters, as well. They will need Vitamin C supplements in their diet or water to remain healthy but these supplements aren’t very expensive and once the routine is set it’s not hard to remember.
Rats aren’t often thought of as a good pet for children. The fact of the matter is that rats make great pets for children of all ages. They socialize with their owner quickly and are quite docile animals. Rats are easier to care for if they have a medium sized cage and they do enjoy having a playmate in their cage so consider getting two if you decide on a rat. Two rats in one cage doesn’t take much more effort than one rat. Rats are more durable than hamsters and guinea pigs and aren’t known to bite as much as the other small animals. Pet rats create a good bond with their human owners, as well. Just make sure you get a rat bred for being a pet and not just pick one up out of the gutter.
There are several small animals that make good pets for children. As always, the parents know what is best and know which animal would be a good match for their child. Do your research and help your child know the joy and responsibility of being a pet owner.
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