When looking for a small rodent to have as a pet, you may be wondering what exactly is suitable for your children to have. Some little animals hate being near children and wind up getting frightened, while other times, your child may be a little rough with them while learning how to handle a small pet properly.
As you go into finding an animal that suits your family’s needs, you may be wanting to receive a hamster as a pet and might wonder what breed works well for children.
Overall, the Syrian hamster is the very best to have for children, but there are more breeds to consider. Hamsters are generally good pets for children in school because they are low-maintenance and fun to interact with. Not only that, but they are entertaining to play with and bring your children lots of joy.
If you feel that your child is ready to get a hamster, we encourage you to do so! Having a hamster learns responsibility in your child and other important factors of life, such as learning how to be gentle and teach patience and understanding. This article will cover different hamster breeds that are child-friendly, so keep reading to find out more information!
Is a Hamster a Good Pet For Kids?
These tiny creatures make an excellent choice for children already in school or ages six and up. With more minor children, they may not understand how to be gentle with the rodent ultimately and may accidentally harm them due to lack of understanding. It is also a learned behavior, and we cannot expect a 2-year-old toddler to always be gentle with animals, including bigger ones, such as dogs and cats.
On the other hand, the older your children are, the better they will understand gentleness and patience. We advise that they continue to have parental supervision during this time, as hamsters need a supportive hold and gentle touch.
If you decide to get a hamster for younger children, make sure to do as much research as possible in terms of holding them properly and always supervising your younglings.
To sum it up, hamsters make excellent pets because they are low maintenance and are incredibly interactive with people and their environment. Overall, this will allow both your children and hamsters to interact and provide a good amount of stimulation. Not to mention, this is an excellent way for you to spend time with your children personally.
What Does This Teach a Child?
There are many responsibilities that your children can learn owning a hamster as a pet. We briefly discussed them above, but let us go more in-depth on why it would be worth it.
Of course, owning a hamster will teach your children responsibility. When you bring any pet home, they will have to learn to feed them, clean out their cages, change their water, prepare fruits and veggies, etc. Not to mention they will provide their little buddy with daily affection. They may be low maintenance, but hamsters thrive in human interaction.
2. Boosts Their Self-esteem
Helping care for a pet will allow your children to feel important by taking care of and loving on your hamsters. It will also instill trust with both your children and pets.
3. Behavior Awareness
As many of us know, our behavior affects how our animals act. If you feel anxious about something, odds are, your hamster may feel that way as well. This can be a good learning lesson for you to teach your children how their behavior affects their kids, and if they are upset or angry, they are not allowed to be near their rodents.
4. Teaches Compassion
Caring for a pet will require a lot of kindness, caring, and compassion. Children will quickly learn to extend these behaviors over to animals, and your children will transfer empathy to other humans as well.
Which Hamsters Are Best For Children?
Lastly, we will be touching base on what is the best hamster for your child and why. It is essential to pick out which one fits your needs.
1. Syrian Hamsters
Syrian hamsters come in a wide variety of colors, such as golden, grey, beige, chocolate, brown, and many more. They are one of the longer hamsters in length, which is 4 to 7 inches when fully grown, and it depends on the sex. Females are larger than males.
Syrian hamsters have small eyes, prominent cheek pouches, and have a very short tail. Their average lifespan is 2 to 2.5 years. These hamsters come from Northern Syria and Southern Turkey.
Being one of the most popular breeds out there, Syrian hamsters are also known as the Teddy Bear or Golden hamster. They are incredibly easy-going rodents and are very easy to handle. They will make a lovely addition to your household.
However, it is best to live alone rather than being caged together, as they will fight until one of them is killed. These hamsters are also nocturnal and are rarely active throughout the day.
2. Dwarf Hamsters
This hamster breed tends to be very small, hence the word “dwarf.” They will be a maximum of 4 inches as adults. Their coats are a natural grayish brown color with a dark strip of color down the spine, and you can find a white stomach Dwarf Campbell Russian’s in a various amount of color due to selective breeding.
Their average lifespan is about two years. They also come from areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as Mongolia, China, and Siberia.
In terms of their behavior, Dwarf hamsters are a lot more social than Syrian hamsters, and they can be kept in same-sex groups or pairs only if they are introduced at a younger age. However, they are not as responsive as Syrian hamsters and may bite if they feel threatened or nervous.
They will require more supervision for your children and pets during interactions, as they still make good pets. Dwarf hamsters are nocturnal as well but are awake for short periods during the day, so make sure to find what time they are up to be interactive with them.
3. Roborovski Hamsters
Roborovski hamsters are smaller than many popular breeds, which leaves them to be 1.5 to 2 inches in length. Their average lifespan is 3 to 3.5 years, which is very impressive for a small animal! They are sandy brown with a white stomach and have white marks over their eyes and occasional white face.
In terms of where they are found, Roborovski hamsters are from the desert region of Xinjiang in China, Mongolia, Tuva, and the basin of the lake Zaysan in Kazakhstan.
Speaking on their personalities, Roborovski Dwarf hamsters are yet another social hamster breed and do well in same-sex pairs if they are introduced at a younger age, just like the Dwarf hamster. They have great temperaments but need constant supervision due to how tiny these creatures are.
These hamsters can also quickly jump down from your hands, so use with care and make sure you are in a secluded place with not a lot of clutter in case this occurs. They are nocturnal as well.
4. Chinese Hamsters
The last hamster we will be discussing today is the Chinese hamster. They come from, as you guessed, Northern China. These tiny rodents also originate from Mongolia and are distinguishable by their uncommonly long tail, not as stubby as others.
They are often mistaken as Dwarf hamsters but are not true dwarfs. However, they are about 4 inches tall when full grown and very similar to Dwarfs hamsters.
Chinese hamsters’ bodies are very similar to a rat or mouse, which is long and slender. These animals have two colors: dark brown-black with a black line of fur around the spine and cream-colored stomachs. Their other color is a “dominant spot,” which is a white coat with spots of colors. These hamster’s lifespan is around 1 to 2 years.
Chinese hamster’s other names are either the Striped or Chinese Striped hamsters, and they do not socialize well with each other. However, some owners mentioned that they had had success in housing them together previously, so it is possible but not recommended.
Although they show aggression towards one another, they are excellent with people and slightly timid, so they will hardly bite. These creatures are also primarily active during the night but can be operational within daylight as well.
Overall, there are quite a few hamsters that make excellent pets, but these are the top four that are recommended due to how well they socialize with humans. Just make sure that when you do find a hamster that suits your needs, you provide adult supervision at all times, regardless of what age your children are.