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Your Child’s First Pocket Pet
November 20, 2022
Has your youngster been begging for a pet? This can be a tricky decision. Children do enjoy and benefit from having animal companions. However, they sometimes beg for pets, only to lose interest in them, leaving the animal’s care to the parents. Pocket pets are often the go-to for first pets, and with good reason: they’re small, cute, inexpensive, and easy to care for. However, there are still some things to consider. A Damascus, MD vet offers some advice on this below.


Our animal companions are good for kids in many ways. They help teach kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion, and can provide comfort and friendship on bad days. Many children also benefit from the responsibility of caring for an animal. (Plus, they’re cute!)


We believe that all animals need to be treated with kindness and respect. Pets are not toys: they’re living beings that need love and attention. You’ll need to supervise the pet’s care, and be willing to take over if need be.


There’s no specific minimum age for kids to get their first pets. It varies from child to child. That said, we don’t usually recommend getting pets or kids that are younger than five, unless you will be caring for the pet yourself. Very young children can be clumsy and a bit rough, even if they don’t mean to be.


Supervise your child carefully whenever they interact with their pet. Have them wash their hands thoroughly both before and after they touch or hold the little guy. It’s also best to have them sit on the floor when holding their tiny pet. That way, if the tiny furball jumps or falls, he’ll have a short drop.

Choosing The Pet

When it comes to first pets, goldfish, gerbils, hamsters, and Guinea pigs are usually the top contenders. These tiny furballs all have slightly different care needs, so do some research. For instance, hamsters are very cute, but they’re also nocturnal, and may keep young children awake.

Consult Your Vet

While pocket pets are easy, they do have some unique care needs as far as diet and habitat. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice, including tips on diet, chew toys, and common signs of illness. Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Damascus, MD animal clinic, today!