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Your Child’s First Pocket Pet

September 15, 2020

Has your child been begging for a pet? Pets can be very beneficial to youngsters. They can provide comfort, entertainment, and companionship, all of which are very important in a year like this. They can also teach kids about empathy. Many people start with smaller animals, such as gerbils, hamsters, or Guinea pigs. Here, a Fort Myers, FL discusses getting your child a pocket pet.


Smaller pets do have many charms in their favor. They’re very cute, and can be quite charismatic. They’re also quite inexpensive. Plus, they are typically gentle and quiet, and don’t need training. Another benefit of smaller pets is that they need minimal care. They also don’t usually live as long as dogs or cats, so the ultimate commitment is much shorter.

Things To Consider

There’s no set age when a child is ready for a pet. The main thing to consider is whether or not your youngster is responsible enough to keep up with basic chores like feeding, cleaning the cage, and providing fresh water without being reminded. It’s not uncommon for kids to beg for pets, then lose interest. Make sure that you’re ready, willing, and able to take over the little guy’s care needs if this happens.

Getting Started

If all lights are green, then it’s time to do some research. If you want something very small and meek, a gerbil may be your best bet. Hamsters are more charismatic, but they’re also nocturnal, and could keep a child awake at night. Guinea pigs are larger, but they can also be very affectionate and can even learn cute tricks. Just keep in mind that Guinea pigs are much happier with roommates, so you’d need at least two. We recommend choosing the type of pet you want before going to the pet store. Ask your vet for care tips, including cage setup, nutrition, and health care.

Settling In

Once you get your tiny furball home, let him settle into his cage before he gets handled. At that point, your child should gently hold, talk to, and pet his new buddy daily, to keep him tame. Supervise all intersections, especially at first. With young children, have them sit on the floor for this. That way, if they drop their pint-sized pal, he won’t fall far.

Please contact us, your Fort Myers, FL vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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