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Starter Pets - For Children

Your child's first pet is often a gift. These youngsters know less about caring for the pet than their parents do. Many of these pets end up in shelters unwanted or worst, dead.

Rodents make great pets for youngsters just make sure you know how to take care of the rat, hamster, gerbil, or mouse. Then you will be able to teach your children how to properly take care of their pet.

Pets are important to children. It helps teach responsibility. The exotic pet rodent makes an excellent friend and confidant for your child.

Before purchasing any animal do your research, learn all you can about the pet. Ask yourself some serious questions. Is my child ready to take on this responsibility? What special care does this pet require? Can we afford the cost involved in caring for the pet, veterinarian bills, food, and other special costs? Is our lifestyle or home right for the pet I am considering? Giving a live animal as a gift takes a tremendous amount of thought and preparation.

Rodents, including the rat, hamster, gerbil, and mouse are increasing in popularity because they require no vaccinations and take up very little space. Each rodent is similar in many ways but each is different from each other.

My article Rats as a Pet
Rats and gerbils rarely bite but do on occasion. Hamsters can be a bit nippy and will on occasion deliver a rather nasty bite. Mice fall in between.


Read my article Pet Gerbils
Gerbils should have coined the term "fearless" and because of this fearless nature and are rather easy to tame. Gerbils main downfall is that there awful gnawers and scratchers. They can and will gnaw and scratch through a plastic cage.

Read about the Hamster - House, Feed, and Care
Hamsters stress easily while gerbils don't. Rats are inquisitive and have a very friendly nature. The only down side to a rat is their kleptomaniac nature.

Learn about the pet Mouse - Mice

Mice are affectionate tiny little pets and enjoy sitting in your hand. Female mice make the best pet because the male mouse has very strong smelling urine. While all rodents are very active the gerbil and hamster seem to expend the most energy. All should have a rodent wheel suitable for their particular size.


Rodent's life spans are no longer than 5 years. The rat will live from 2 to 3 years. The gerbil will live three to five years. The hamster will live approximately 2 years and the mouse from 1 to 2 years.

For your little friend to live the longest possible lifespan keep his cage and accessories clean and disinfected. Use caution using strong smelling cleaners and disinfectants without rinsing completely and airing out the cage (don�t use pine products). Stay away from pine and cedar bedding material this will injure their respiratory systems. Stick with aspen bedding. Make sure you feed them a good balanced diet according to the particular rodent's needs. Always have plenty of fresh water available.

All rodents need to gnaw to keep their ever-growing teeth worn down. Provide them with rodent chew sticks, safe sticks, and twigs. All rodents love to have fun and need toys to play with. All rodents need and enjoy love and affection and all are capable of strong bonds with their owners.

Rodents are usually sweet, friendly, and make great pets for children and adults. My personal favorite is the rat. When my children were young they had pet rats and hamsters. The rat turned out to be the better pet for a child.


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Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron



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