If your child’s over the age of six, be ready to hear little whispers of, “Can I get a dog?” echoing through the house. At this age, youngsters have a magnetic attraction toward four-legged friends. But as much as your little one may want a massive pet, their coordination skills and fleeting interests aren’t exactly up to the task of handling a majestic German Shepherd or a robust Siberian Husky.
To be the cool parent that still satisfies their desires, consider one of the small pets below as a guilt-free treat. Read on for ten pint-sized animals that even the smallest of humans can successfully nurture (with a bit of supervision, of course).
While cats and dogs are popular choices, they can cause a lot of disruption in their owners’ homes. Hamsters are a more peaceful alternative. They’re cute, cuddly, and won’t require a degree in zoology to take care of.
Plus they’re just as trainable as other tiny pets. With the right approach, your kids can teach their fur buddy fancy tricks like standing and rolling over!
Hamsters are also nocturnal. And as such, they make the perfect companions for kiddos who prefer midnight adventures over snoozing. They’ll keep them company during those late-night play sessions when you’re in desperate need of some shut-eye.
Best of all, these little guys don’t mess around when it comes to personal hygiene. You’ll catch them grooming themselves multiple times a day, so daily baths are something you and your kids won’t have to worry about.
Just remember to teach your little one that the hamster isn’t a toy. Handle them with care to avoid a nibble on the finger.
2. Guinea Pig
Want a pet that won’t have you running to the groomer every other day? Look no further than the short-haired guinea pig! They only require weekly grooming and occasional baths.
If you have a soft-spoken child, a guinea pig would be the perfect addition to your family. They’re social creatures that enjoy interacting with humans, but their sensitive hearing makes them uncomfortable around loud noises. Still, their welcoming demeanor can play a vital role in grooming your kid into a charismatic social butterfly.
Not only are guinea pigs excellent furry companions, but they also won’t leave your child sneezing and scratching.
However, even with a guinea pig’s low levels of dander, some people can have allergic reactions. Families with especially sensitive children should opt for a hairless guinea pig instead.
Rabbits have a talent for hopping right into our hearts and becoming cherished members of the household.
If your ears are yearning for some peace and quiet in your home, a rabbit might just be the perfect furry little friend for your children. They only make a fuss when they’re hungry, and even then they’re pretty quiet about it. With this pet, you can say goodbye to any unwanted noise complaints from your neighbors.
These adorable critters come equipped with an infinite supply of cuddles, making them the perfect remedy for children who need lots of TLC.
4. Snakes (Nonvenomous)
Do you have a kid who’s a little bit of a daredevil? If so, then maybe this is the pet for them!
The most popular pet snake species is the corn snake. From the tip of their nose to the end of their tail, these fellas typically grow to a respectable 5 to 6 feet (152.4 to 182.8 cm). They’re small enough to be perfectly manageable for kids, but large enough to still feel like a big responsibility.
Their backs are adorned with exquisite designs in a sensational spectrum of golden-brown hues to passionate reds. Art lovers will be impressed with their unique coloring, and kids will love watching them slither around their habitat.
If you decide that owning one would be fun, make sure there’s always plenty of heat wherever it lives. Temperatures should never drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24°C) during nighttime or over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32°C) during the day.
You should note that although corns are nonvenomous and have shorter teeth, they do bite. Luckily, the bites produce little pain and rarely any bleeding. Teach your kids how to handle snakes with caution so they avoid unwelcome fang-to-flesh interactions.
Ferrets are the class clowns of the pet world, with a wit and charm sure to tickle the funny bone of any child. Plus, they’re smart and perpetually curious, always ready for their next adventure!
And let’s not forget their enthusiasm for playtime.
A ferret’s ultimate joy is chasing after anything that moves. Whether it’s a miniature car or a bouncing ball, it’s easy to entertain this energetic animal. They can also keep themselves amused during your absence.
Another perk is that they’re easy to feed on any family budget. While they enjoy their exclusive cuisine known as “ferret food,” they never shy away from everyday grocery items like carrots and apples.
Your little ones will be begging to snuggle up with these velvety critters. Chinchillas are draped in the softest and fluffiest of furs.
They’re a hassle-free feeding choice for families who don’t have the time to order exotic foods every week. Because they’re herbivores, it’s easy to find a nutritious snack for them in the produce aisle.
They’re also not very active during the day. This makes them ideal for kiddos with jam-packed schedules who still want a furry friend to call their own.
Aside from ditching morning playtime, however, these animals aren’t as low-maintenance as other pets on this list. Chinchillas require dust baths a few times a week to keep their fur fabulous.
And, much like divas, these beings require a cool environment to thrive. Don’t even think about subjecting them to scorching temperatures.
They can also get very active during dusk. Your child must be willing to take the time to exercise their chinchilla.
They’re the perfect pet for teaching kids responsibility while giving them endless snuggles at the same time.
If you don’t want to compromise on square footage for a cage, say hello to the parakeet! They’re pint-sized avians that are a breeze to take care of.
Not only are they easy to handle, but these gorgeous birds will spruce up any living space with their vibrant hues. They boast such eye-catching feathers that they could turn even the dullest room into a palette of colors.
These feathered fashionistas need a tidy pad, a well-balanced menu, plenty of friends, and regular brain teasers to keep them happy. Handle your parakeets with love, and they’ll stick around for up to 15 years.
Due to the risk of Salmonella, avoid turtle companions if your kids are still mastering the art of handwashing. But for little ones who take pride in their cleanliness, some turtles make good aquatic pets. The musk turtle is one of them.
This little guy only reaches around 4 – 5 inches (101 – 127 mm) in size. Its compact design and petite stature make it easy to manage.
Musk turtles are also less likely to bite or scratch you. The Razorback varieties are especially gentle.
9. Bettas or Goldfish
Goldfish and bettas are both low-maintenance pets that can live in small tanks.
If your kids have a less-than-stellar track record of pet care, go for Goldfish. They can live up to 15 years on average, though some have been known to reach 30. This makes them a long-term commitment that isn’t likely to disappoint your child.
Bettas don’t last as long, but they still make a splash with their average five-year lifespan. These colorful underwater creatures will keep your child amused for years, saving you from the hassle of finding a new pet every other month.
Don’t let their tiny stature fool you; rats are big on affection toward their owners. They’re always ready for a cuddle, and can even match the prowess of circus animals with their amazing trick abilities.
These adorable creatures have an insatiable hunger for human interaction. Your child will feel like the center of the universe as their furry pal greets them with unbridled joy every time they come home.
Before adopting a rat as your child’s new fellow, be sure to give them a thorough health audit. After all, you don’t want any surprises once they move in. The vet will make sure they’re safe for years of play.
How to Take Care of Your Small Pets
There are many great small pets for kids, but few are more kid-friendly than the ones listed here.
A basic diet and proper hydration will keep your mini companion alive, but you’ll need to do more for the pet to live long enough for your kids to truly enjoy them. Let our team provide you with the perfect living space and unique menu options for your furry friend. Contact PetMarvelous today and we’ll guide you through the jungle of being a new pet owner.