Best Pets for Small Children


Hamsters are a classic and easy first pet. Hamsters are easy to train to use litter and relatively low maintenance. The small breeds of hamsters, especially the females, can be more aggressive. Experts suggest getting the larger breeds if they are meant to be pets for children. Hamsters should also be kept in a roomy cage with tunnels and nesting areas for sleeping. Hamsters usually live for about three years.

Photo courtesy of Jared Belson

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are gentle and have a sweet disposition and are very sociable.  They make great pets for kids to interact with. Guinea pigs have a longer lifespan, living up to seven years. However, guinea pigs have a bigger appetite and may be messier to clean up after.

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Gerbils are easy to take care of and are good for children who can’t be that hands on. Gerbils have a lifespan of about two years. They eat food that is like other rodents: rodent pellets and food blocks, along with some supplemental seed mixes. Gerbils are more sensitive to their surroundings. High humidity can give them respiratory issues, so it is best to keep them in a low humidity area.

Photo courtesy of Jared Belson


Rabbits are good for younger kids because they usually have a very gentle and sociable nature. Rabbits can live up to 12 years and can be litter trained. A proper diet of grass, hay, berries, vegetables, and pellets are vital for their survival.

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A fish might be the perfect and most common go-to starter pet for a child. Although the most common fish is the goldfish, beta fish are easier to take care of. Their food is sold at any local pet store and they don’t require much. Fish are low maintenance as long as you don’t over/under feed them and clean their tanks.

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