- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

Hamster Checklist: “Before You Buy”

This checklist contains important questions that you should discuss with your family. And there’s a “Parents’ Info” section at the end. Feel free to print this page so you can tick the boxes.

1. Can you look after your hamster for 1-4 years?

Hamsters live from around one to four years. Remember that your little friend might die sooner than you’d like.

2. Do you have any animal allergies?

Then, unfortunately, a pet might not be such a good idea. The same goes if a member of your family is allergic to animals. When considering a rodent, it’s also important to rule out a hay allergy.

3. Can someone look after your hamster if you go on vacation?

It’s best if relatives can look after your pets while you’re away. Or friends that have their own pets. If not, there are always pet sitting services. But these can be expensive.

4. Do you have enough money to look after your hamster?

Your hamster doesn’t just need food and toys. If your pet gets ill, you’ll have to take it to the vet and it could need medication.

5. Does your whole family agree with the decision?

After all, your parents will be responsible for your pet. They have to agree. Even your siblings should get a say in getting a new family member.

6. Did you know that hamsters aren’t really cuddly pets?

Even if your hamster lets you touch it, that doesn’t mean that it likes it. They can often go into shock, which people might think means they’re enjoying being stroked. Hamsters are just for looking at.

Parents’ Info

A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:

Children with pets:

  • Learn about responsibility.
  • Develop confidence and empathy.
  • Are more active and get sick less often.
  • Are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
  • Feel less alone when their parents are at work.

Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.

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