All children want pets, but not all of them will be able to take care of such small cage animals as rabbits, sandlances and hamsters. Haste is not the best ally when you choose the first pet for your child. You should always remember that all animals require responsibility and care.
Small animals are a special case. They are more fragile than cats and dogs and do not make a friendly connection with children. Children should be very careful not to jab or poke them. Small children may accidentally drop them while simply playing and the consequences will be tragic. In addition, small animals are not safe in the hands of clumsy children. When scared this small bundle of joy can scratch and bite your child (even such seemingly harmless creatures as rabbits or hamsters). Such incidents often discourage children from owning a pet.
The most common mistake that all adults believe to be true is about the lifespan of small cute animals. They are not disposable guinea pigs that are allowed to be victimized to test child’s responsibility and readiness to take care of a living being. No animals can be disposed of when your child is bored.
Try to objectively estimate whether your child is mature enough to handle such delicate animals. Be sure to consider the following 3 criteria.
The main is the age of your child. Children under 7 may not be able to take care of animals physically. Let them touch their pet only under your control and be careful when petting them.
Secondly, your child should be mature enough to understand the responsibility. Quiet children are more reliable owners. Any tantrum or misbehavior can be dangerous. Pay attention to your child’s coordination and the way he holds things. Try to recall the outcome of his decisions. Were they mature enough?
And, finally, try to answer a simple question—does he feel responsibility for his actions? Does he express compassion towards animals? Will he understand that making fun by endangering poor animals is cruel? Your child should know how to follow the rules and control his actions.
Small animals demand the same amount of attention as big cats and dogs. But be ready to take care of your hamster yourself. As it usually happens, children forget to clean pet cages or bring them water.
In case you decide to buy small pet animals, remember that careful treatment can bring your children joy and provide an educational experience.