A hamster is not the right pet for every child. Read here when a hamster as a pet for children really makes sense.
When the child wants a pet, the choice often falls on the hamster. The cute appearance and the relatively low cost of buying a hamster are often the arguments why parents get involved. But hamsters are not cuddly toys and have high demands on their owners.
With the help of an adult, understanding children can take care of a hamster. But the following things must be clarified before purchasing a hamster.
Learn all about it here
- Disadvantages of hamsters for children
- Benefits of Hamsters for Children
- Considerations before purchasing the hamster
Hamsters for children: these are the disadvantages
Having a hamster as a pet involves a lot of work. In addition, the small rodents have needs that cannot easily be met. Both parent and child should be aware that hamsters have these habits that could potentially be problematic.
Hamsters are nocturnal
Hamsters want to be able to sleep undisturbed during the day. They only wake up in the evening and then often let off steam in their cage all night. At this time, however, children belong in bed. The child may not see the hamster as often as he would like.
Hamsters don’t grow old
With 1 ½ to a maximum of 3 years, hamsters have a very short life expectancy, even if they are kept correctly. As a rule, children develop a close bond with their pet very quickly – but the hamster’s time to say goodbye comes earlier than with other pets.
Hamsters are not stuffed animals
While hamsters can be tamed and handled with patience and tender loving care, they are not cuddly or petted animals. Small children in particular find it difficult to discover the right amount of petting for small animals. If the hamster feels threatened, it can bite.
Keeping hamsters is work
In order to keep a hamster in a species-appropriate manner, its enclosure must be cleaned regularly. In addition, the hamster needs to be allowed to roam daily, fed, and cared for. Small children quickly lose interest in such tasks.
Hamsters for children: these are the advantages
If the child and parents don’t mind a lot of work, nocturnal activity, and a short lifespan, the hamster can make a good pet. After all, there are many good reasons to get a hamster for your child. These are the advantages that a hamster brings.
Hamsters are easy to watch
If the hamster becomes active in the evening, it is great fun to watch him hoarding food in his cheek pouches or with what joy he uses the running wheel and the rest of the cage equipment. If your child prefers to watch animals rather than pet them, a hamster is a good choice.
Hamsters can be hand tamed
If you deal with your hamster regularly with a lot of patience and calm, you will succeed relatively quickly in making a hamster tame. However, it is important that the hamster is never torn from its sleep.
Hamsters are suitable for single keeping
Hamsters are absolute loners. Therefore, the hamster is suitable as a pet if you only want to take in one animal. Rabbits and guinea pigs need conspecifics for a species-appropriate life.
Hamsters don’t need to be constantly entertained
Hamsters are independent pets that can get by without attention for a while. They don’t blame you if you don’t pay attention to them for a few days. Of course, fresh water and food must always be available. But you don’t have to entertain or educate a hamster.
This must be considered before purchasing a hamster for children
It’s not nice for the animal, for you, or your child if you have to give your hamster back to the animal shelter because it was the wrong decision. To avoid exactly that, you should answer the following questions honestly.
As a parent, am I interested in the hamster?
It’s not uncommon for children to lose interest in their new pet – even a cute hamster. Parents should therefore be aware that if the child is no longer interested in the animal, they are responsible and must take care of the hamster. Are you able and willing to take on this responsibility?
Tip: Parents are the role models for the children, and interest or disinterest in something can be transferred to the children. Respond to this when your child talks about their hamster. If he gets attention, when he talks enthusiastically about his chubby pet, he will be motivated to take care of it too.
Can I ensure the safety of the hamster?
Children often treat pets a little rough because they don’t understand that they feel pain. This can be dangerous for small rodents such as hamsters. It is your responsibility as a parent: you must make your child aware that a hamster is not a stuffed animal.
Can I ask my child to be patient?
Hamsters are not toys that you can just put in a corner when you don’t feel like it. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your child this. Children are often impatient because the hamster just doesn’t want to be tamed. Can and do you want to patiently teach your child how to tame a hamster?
Tip: Parents should help their children to better integrate the care of the little rodent into their daily schedule. If all else fails, then the child should not be forced to keep the hamster. In such a case, a new owner must be found for the hamster.