As a child, I always wondered why my older sister had cool classroom small pets, but I was left with a goldfish in kindergarten class. As an adult and parent, I now understand that the age of my child should drive the selection of a small animal and pet. No wonder the 3rd grade kids enjoyed hours of enjoyment with Harriet the Hamster while I patiently waited through the classroom rotation for my turn to feed the fish.

Before selecting a pet for your child’s enjoyment, be sure to understand the personality and the pet supplies needed for a healthy pet. Through research and a little pre-planning, you can find an animal that is a perfect fit for your child, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Below are a few tips to guide you in selecting a pet for your child’s age.

1. Ages 5 and above:

Children this age seek a pet that they can cuddle and love. They tend to pet harder than they mean too, so a pet for an under five must be patient and sturdy. Small animals recommended for this age group include:

  • A larger dwarf or full sized breed Rabbit
  • Guinea Pigs

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs enjoy outdoor adventures with young children by simply using a small animal playpen or a rabbit harness.  Guniea Pigs need to live indoors while rabbits can be kept inside or outdoors in a rabbit hutch.

2. Ages 6- 10 yrs. Old:

From 6 to around 10 kids become more able to control their grips, and are able to care for smaller, more fragile pets. For this age we look for a pet that is unlikely to bite, and enjoys lots of attention. Small pets recommended for the 6-10 age group include:

  • Rats
  • Gerbils
  • Hamsters

Overall, you know your child better than anyone else. With some research on small pets and tips from our experts, you can understanding the small animal choices. Then, as a parent, you can decide what is best for your home.

About The Author Rick Billups

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