would a kid have to be for you to get them a pet like a hamster?
dd wants one and I'm iffy.
she feeds waters and olays with the dog and cat daily. but im unsure on something so small at a young age, but dh says it'll be fine.
i made the mistake and got cameron one when he was 2.. and he cared for like a week then forgot about it. next time he can get one is when hes old enough to actually help care for it like maybe around 7 or so
If she does it all for the dog then maybe a hamster would be okay. Just stress to her that you need to be easier and careful with a pet this small.
At least 8. Hamsters can be bitey. The dwarf hamsters can be cage territorial, and quick. The standard hamsters are prone to ill health, and also can be very bitey. They are also nocturnal, which doesn't necessarily coincide well with most kids' sleeping schedules, especially if the hamster is to be kept in the bedroom. Standard hamsters MUST be kept alone. Dwarf hamsters can be kept in same-sex pairs (um...make SURE they are same sex, it isn't that hard to tell, I promise).
Kids have to be able to understand certain things, and I don't think little ones really need to be that much in charge of another life, especially one SOOOO different from them.
My son is 4, and there is no way I'd get him a hamster or other small rodent. Now, getting me one might be a different story, and letting him handle it with supervision, but there is no way it would be in the same bedroom as him and no way he would be allowed unsupervised access to it.
Probably between 8-10 that way they are old enough to take full responsibility for their pet.
I just gave my daughters each a baby hamster to take back home with them to their dads. They are 5 and 7 years old. They are good about feeding and watering them every day. Miley (5) needs a little help cleaning out the cage once a week. But other than that they are very responsible about it. I think it helped since I bred the parents and they watched the babys grow so they have more of an attachment to them. Also they grew up with me breeding rabbits. and have had lots of pets.
<blockquote><b>Quoting Autumn Whisper:</b>" At least 8. Hamsters can be bitey. The dwarf hamsters can be cage territorial, and quick. The standard ... [snip!] ... but there is no way it would be in the same bedroom as him and no way he would be allowed unsupervised access to it."</blockquote>
okay. so what's better hampsters or guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are more friendly, but cost more to take care of. They need hay, food high in vitamin c and stuff to chew on to keep their teeth from over growing. If they do not have the proper diet and care they can die easily.
Quoting Samee:" <blockquote><b>Quoting Autumn Whisper:</b>" At least 8. Hamsters can be bitey. The ... [snip!] ... no way he would be allowed unsupervised access to it."</blockquote> okay. so what's better hampsters or guinea pigs?"
Guinea pigs are larger and less delicate simply because they are larger. However, they have very specific dietary requirements that are usually ignored in captivity. They MUST have fresh timothy hay daily to consume (alfalfa has too much calcium and causes long term problems), as well as pellets, and a vitamin C supplement...this usually is put in their water. They are generally extremely flighty, and they have a loud squeal. Males ought to be kept alone, females in pairs. It doesn't always work out.
I don't really care for guinea pigs, personally. That is my bias. I worked in a pet store for a total of 18 months, and was in charge of the small animal department, so I have a lot of experience with them in a retail setting but I have never owned them. I cannot see myself ever owning them. I have owned both the larger standard (Syrian) hamsters and four different species of dwarves, which I personally prefer over the Syrians across the board.
Generally, guinea pigs are somewhat better for smaller children, however, they do not take up more space (standard cages are way too small, this is also an issue for hamsters). They can bite, some quite badly, but usually they do not. They are more likely to just run.
Have you thought about a rabbit maybe? Rabbits care is fairly simple. They are easier to care for than pigs in my opinion. I personally love Holland lops. They are very friendly and easy to care for. their coat is very soft. Mine always comes up to the cage when he sees me coming and if you stick your finger in the cage he puts his head up against it to be scratched. and he likes to lick your arm while you are holding him. I've had lots of diff breeds of rabbits and I tend lean toward the hollands more than any other.
<blockquote><b>Quoting Boog-a-noog2013:</b>" Have you thought about a rabbit maybe? Rabbits care is fairly simple. They are easier to care for than ... [snip!] ... arm while you are holding him. I've had lots of diff breeds of rabbits and I tend lean toward the hollands more than any other."</blockquote>
I haven't but maybe I should start thinking about them as an option.
Not all hamsters are evil, but mine sure was and I have the scars on my fingers to prove it. Hamsters are just about the last pet I'd bring home no matter how old my kids are. :)
There are a few things to be aware of with rabbits, as well.
They need timothy hay as well as pellets. Unneutered rabbits tend to develop an attitude during and after puberty...so either buy a fixed one, or have it fixed. Their urine stinks...badly. Most commercial cages are way too small.
Quoting Autumn Whisper:" There are a few things to be aware of with rabbits, as well. They need timothy hay as well as pellets. ... [snip!] ... puberty...so either buy a fixed one, or have it fixed. Their urine stinks...badly. Most commercial cages are way too small."
Male urine smells a lot wore than female urine. I've raised rabbits indoors for 10 yrs and bred them as well. Having as many as 10 indoor cages and 15 outdoor cages. As long as you clean the cage out weekly the smell isnt bad at all (even with multiple cages in the house. (Most people visiting my home didn't even realize I had indoor cages until i pointed it out or until they saw a rabbit hop through the living room) Rabbits are very easy to potty train as well. All my indoor cages had litter boxes which the rabbits used. I could even let them out to roam around the house and they would go b ack to their cage to go to the bathroom. Rabbits don't have to have timmothy hay. Its WAY more expensive. I bought bails of hay for $13 a piece and free fed them hay. With all the rabbits a bail of hay would last me about 3-4 months. With only having one it would deff last a lot longer. It's cheeper to feed rabbits too. Guinea pigs can not just eat pellets like rabbit pellets they have to have a vitamin rich pellet and variety mixture. I used to breed guinea pigs as well (I breed for a local pet shop for several years) but gave up on the guinea pigs because their care was much more expensive than the rabbits and the cost out weighed the purpose for me. a bag of guinea pig good will cost you around 10 bucks and last a couple of weeks. a 50lb bag of rabbit pellets is about 8 bucks and will last you a couple of months. A rabbit (of a small breed like a holland) only gets 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of food per day and then you would fill their hay feeder up once a day as well. The dietary needs of a rabbit is a lot less than a guinea pig. I've rescued lots of pigs that I have had to clip their teeth and slowly nurse them back to health because people get them and feed them just hay and pellets which is not a sufficent diet for a guinea pig, but they didn't want ot pay the extra cost for the guinea pig food.