Children don’t always want a run of the mill pet and often like to be adventurous in choosing their new playmate. You might think that exotic pets won’t make a good match for your child, but we’ve pulled together a list of the top three types of unusual pet for children.
Syrian Hamsters are a more unusual breed of your standard hamster.
They love being handled, which is great for kids – once you’ve shown them how to do this properly. You should only get one, or if you want one per child, be sure to house them in separate cages as they’re very territorial and will fight.
They live for about 2 years. Feed your hamster a good quality hamster food and supplement their diet with some fresh fruit and vegetables but avoid citrus fruits as they’re too acidic.
Rats may not sound like a great pet for a child but they are friendly, active little creatures. They need to live together in pairs but get two of the same sex, otherwise you’ll have lots of baby rats too!
Rats love human company so are great for kids, and they’re pretty easy to look after. They just need a big enough indoor cage, and a nest box for sleeping, plus toys to keep them entertained when they’re on their own.
You can buy ready-made rat pet food at pet shops. They also like grains and vegetables and will need fresh water available.
Rats can live up to three years.
A chinchilla can live up to 15 years so is a big commitment for a child’s pet. Chinchilla’s need to be kept indoors in a cage of about 1m x 1.5m. They also like to be in pairs. They’re nocturnal, so consider this when choosing for a child.
Chinchillas will need exercise outside their cage at least once a day because they’re really active creatures. Feed them Chinchilla pellets which you can buy in pet stores. This will give them a lot of the nutrients they’ll need but they also need a constant supply of hay to munch on. You can give them raisins and sultanas for a treat.