Tips For Getting Your Child a Pocket Pet

Has your little one been begging for a pet? Deciding whether or not your child is ready for a pet can be tricky! If you’ve opted to move forward, you may very well want to start out with something small and easy to care for, like a mouse, Guinea pig, or hamster. These smaller animals—often called pocket pets—definitely check a lot of boxes when it comes to selecting children’s pets. However, there are some things to keep in mind before you head to the pet store. A Folsom, CA vet discusses getting your child a pocket pet in this article.

Choosing The Furball

Hamsters, gerbils, mice, Guinea pigs, and other small animals are often top choices for kids’ pets, and with good reason. They’re cute, quiet, inexpensive, don’t need much room, and are easy to care for. That said, these charming furballs all have slightly different care needs. For example, gerbils and Guinea pigs will get lonely and depressed by themselves, while many hamsters must live alone. Breed will also play a role. Do some research before deciding.

Cage Placement

Another thing to consider is how large a cage your pet needs, and where to put it. Gerbils are very small, and don’t need much room at all. Guinea pigs, however, need about 7.5 square feet, at a minimum. Hamsters are in-between, but they are also nocturnal. Hammie could keep your child awake if you put the cage in their bedroom!


Supervise your child closely whenever they handle their pint-sized pal. If your child is still very young, have them sit or kneel to hold their furry friend. That way, if they accidentally drop their pet, the little guy won’t fall very far.

Ground Rules

Set some basic rules for the care and feeding of your pet. Make sure your youngster understands that many people foods are dangerous for our animal friends! Depending on your child’s age and maturity, you may want to put them in charge of giving the little furball fresh food and water, and cleaning the cage.

Backup Plan

Young children often beg for pets, and then lose interest in them. Before buying a pet, make sure you are willing to take over caring for your tiny pal if necessary.

Please reach out to us, your Folsom, CA vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

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