Good age to introduce a small mammal? Advice please

(3 Posts)
quesadilla Tue 11-Jun-13 13:13:18

My dd is 2.6 and loves animals. DH wants to get a rabbit/GP/hamster. We both work f/t though I work from home at least 2 days a week, and I think it's more work than he realises. Also I think dd is too young to really get anything out of having a pet so we are going to put it off for a bit. What's a good age to introduce a child to having a pet?

OnceUponAThyme Tue 11-Jun-13 14:30:54

my dd is 4.5, and has her first hamster. I've always had small mammals myself, but this one is hers.
she brings him out every night into his playpen and strokes him, gives him treats, and checks his water is fresh and his food is topped up. she helps clean the cage but realistically, I do all the cleaning.
she isn't bored of him yet, we've had him a while now and he is very tame but she still needs reminding to do certain things. if the hamster wasnt so friendly and generally calm, she wouldn't be able to handle it properly. my other hamster is a grump, and is far too fast and not friendly enough for her to handle confidently. my hamster will nip if he's had enough and only tolerates handling in small bursts.
I would say 5ish is probably the best age to start, and often you'll end up looking after it, so get a pet you would like.
I think gerbils are good, small and active enough during the day to hold interest. guinea pigs are great wee pets, I wouldnt recommend a rabbit as a pet for a small child.
the best option would be rats. awesome pets, I haven't had a pair since my own childhood but will hopefully be getting some soon smile

quesadilla Tue 11-Jun-13 16:02:25

thanks. That's more or less what I thought

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