Guinea pigs may be in the same rodent family as hamsters, but their demeanor couldn't be more different. These rodents are gentle and have a sweet disposition, which makes them less likely to bite. Plus, they can be sociable, which means they won't mind being handled -- as long as they are held properly -- and they won't mind if young kids want to interact with them. These cuddly creatures are ideal for a kid who is just learning to take care of a pet because a guinea pig is less likely to get frustrated with its young caretaker. Consider getting another guinea pig as a companion, however, so the pet won't get lonely. Guinea pigs have a longer life span -- around five to seven years -- than hamsters do, and they require more time and effort because of their bigger appetite for lots of hay and vegetables. This bigger appetite can make guinea pigs messier than other small mammals, so you might have to clean their cage more frequently as well.
A dwarf hamster makes a great pet for older kids and even adults
"Gerbils are easy to take care of but not very hands-on," Dr. Quesenberry says. "They're fine for kids who don't want to be that involved." Unlike hamsters and guinea pigs, gerbils have a relatively short lifespan -- about two years. It's easy to feed gerbils because they have a standard diet similar to that of rats and hamsters: rodent pellets and food blocks, along with some supplemental seed mixes. Gerbils are not usually aggressive, so they can also be held, but they are very fast, so it won't be easy to hold them for long. This quickness means a lot of activity in the cage, which could pique your child's curiosity. Gerbils are more sensitive to their environment than other small animals, however, and humidity can give them respiratory and fur problems. If you are concerned that your environment might be too humid for a gerbil, consult a veterinarian.
Hamster Facts and Information for Kids #hamster – Animal Facts
When you're looking to add a pet to your family, there are many options to choose from other than cats and dogs. Plenty of cuddly and furry pets are more compact, easier to care for, affordable, and don't require as much attention. Small pets are good options for children older than 5 because they can be a great way to teach responsibility, says Dr. Jennifer Graham, assistant professor at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. To decide which small animal might work as a family pet, you should do as much research as you would when choosing a larger pet. Some of the most popular small pets, such as hamsters and guinea pigs, might look similar but are very different in terms of their needs and how they interact with kids. But if you're looking for small pets that require less interaction and are just fun to watch, a gerbil or even a chinchilla might be right for your family. When deciding on a small pet for your family, consider these six options -- some traditional and some unusual -- and before you welcome the right pet into your home, keep in mind that each one has unique needs and characteristics.
Apr 4, 2017 - Hamster Facts and Information for Kids #hamster