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Which little pet is the best choice for your kids?

At some point in childhood, almost every child asks for a pet – hamsters, birds, and lizards, to name a few. If you have young children, you may be wondering what type of pet is right for them to take responsibility and learn. Read on to find out more about the best little pets that are playful and great pets for kids.


Hamster sits on carpet
Ricky Kharawala Wang / Unsplash

These small rodents are a popular option for a child’s first pet. Hamsters should have a cage with tunnels and places where they can hide. They live on average around three years, so your child will likely learn to deal with grief with these animals. Hamsters are easy to care for – just feed them daily and clean their cages regularly. You can have a good time, but can be treated gently. Larger species of hamster are often treated as smaller species, which tend to be more aggressive. It’s fun to watch these animals, especially when they’re exploring tunnels or rolling around in a ball.

Hermit crabs

Hermit crabs do little more than walk around and eat, so they are a fantastic, low-maintenance first pet for a child. They cannot be played exactly, but are entertaining to watch as they walk around. Hermit crabs take up the least space of all animals on this list. You will be satisfied as long as you have some sand and stones in your enclosure. You will also need two water bowls – one with fresh water and one with salt water. Hermit crabs like to dig during the day and come out at night because they are nocturnal. Depending on the species, they can live between three and 30 years.

Guinea pig

Guinea pigs are slightly larger than most other rodents that are kept as pets. They are 8 to 12 inches long when they are fully grown. These animals are usually calm and can be raised very socially if they are treated regularly. They live between five and seven years and are a companion who will be there for a while. Their diet consists of hay, pellets and vegetables, which they eat in larger quantities than their hamster relatives. Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs don’t fit in most tunnels and balls and shouldn’t use wheels to avoid damaging their sensitive feet.


two fish in an aquarium
Chait Goli / Pexels

Although fish is arguably the least interactive animal on this list, it can be pleasant to watch. There are many species of fish, some of which live in fresh water and others in salt water. Of course, you can’t keep both types in the same tank, but you could have two separate aquariums! From simple betta fish to colorful neon tetra, there are almost unlimited possibilities to keep fish as pets. You can also keep other animals in your aquarium, e.g. B. crabs or frogs, depending on which fish you have. Most fish, especially freshwater fish, only need to be fed daily and cleaned regularly, so that they are easy to care for the little ones.


They may not be the cutest animals, but rats are intelligent and friendly. Rats can be taught to perform tricks, such as getting an object out of a labyrinth. They are particularly treated well, so that you can interact with them more often and longer than with other rodents. Rats usually live two to three years. You can survive on a rodent pellet diet only. If your child wants an animal to play with, a rat is a good choice for their first pet.

Leopard geckos

Close-up of leopard gecko looking at camera
Andy Holmes / Unsplash

Leopard geckos are one of the easiest to care for reptiles. They are yellow-brown with black spots and bumpy skin and look like they are always smiling! Leopard geckos live an average of six to ten years. They eat living insects and it can be interesting to watch them eat. With careful handling, leopard geckos tolerate holding. You need a hot place to sunbathe and sufficient freedom of movement. Leopard geckos are a great starter reptile.

If your child wants to have a pet, a small animal may be the way to go. Rodents are a popular option, as is shown by the number of these animals on this list, but there are also lesser known animals that make fantastic pets. Pay attention to the care requirements of each animal you choose, as you are likely to help your child take care of it!

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