Tips for Getting Your Child a Pocket Pet

Smaller animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, and Guinea pigs, are often chosen as children’s first pets. These little guys, often known as pocket pets, have some great qualities. They don’t take up much room, are fairly inexpensive, and are quite easy to care for. They’re also typically quite gentle, as long as they are properly socialized and handled properly. Read on for tips from a Cameron Park, CA vet on getting your child a pocket pet.

Choosing The Right Pet

Each of these little furballs has their own pros and cons. Gerbils, for instance, have the advantage of being quite clean. Because they were initially desert animals, they don’t produce a lot of urine. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are a bit larger, but they’re also much more sociable and lots of fun. Hamsters are also super cute, but have specific temperature requirements. They’re also nocturnal, which is something to consider if you want to put the cage in your child’s bedroom. You don’t want Hammie keeping your young one awake! Do some research, and ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Is The Time Right?

Deciding whether or not your child is ready for a pet can be tricky. It’s very common for children to beg for pets, and then lose interest in them. This is very sad for the pet! It also puts the responsibility of the pet’s care onto the shoulders of already-busy parents. Every child matures differently, so there isn’t one set age that is recommended. Look for signs that your little one understands responsibility, like doing their homework and chores without having to be prompted. You may want to wait a bit, and see if they keep asking. If they do, their interest in a pet is likely more than a passing phase. That said, be prepared to take on the responsibility of the animal if needed.

Care Tips

Be sure to supervise all interactions between your child and their furry friend. You may want to have your child sit down to hold or play with their pet. We recommend overseeing the pet’s care as well. Also, make sure that your youngster knows what is and isn’t safe for pets to eat or chew. Ask your vet for more information.

Please feel free to contact us, your Cameron Park, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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