There are many suitable exotic pets for kids available, but some are much better choices than others. Consider this list from About.com and what you are looking for in a pet before making a decision on an exotic pet for your child. Village Vet Animal Clinic in Broken Arrow is a top-rated clinic for exotic pet care in the Greater Tulsa area.
I love cavies as an exotic pet for kids for several reasons. Guinea pigs don’t typically bite, are not as fragile as the more popular hamster, and are low-maintenance. They live between 5-8 years on average, which is much longer than a hamster will last, and love to be pet and scratched. Some guinea pigs even enjoy running around in a large hamster ball to get exercise.
Guinea pigs are very social animals, and will be happiest living with other guinea pigs (and don’t worry, they will still bond with their owners, too). Keep a same sex pair; females can be kept together as can males, though sometimes individual differences will mean certain guinea pigs won’t get along. Introducing them as babies is the best way to get a pair to bond, though even adults can usually be introduced with care.
These rodents are so smart! They have unique personalities and love to play with toys and puzzles. Rats are hardier than hamsters and typically live longer than them too. Rats don’t have the reputation for biting like hamsters have either. If you can get past their tail then you’ll learn to love them – and so will your kids!
Choosing a Pet Rat as an Exotic Pet
- Try to avoid rats that are panicky when handled, especially if they do not relax quickly, and also those that are overly quiet and calm (may be ill). Often a good choice is a rat that is curious enough to approach you.
- Rats should be alert and active.
- The rats body should be firm and well rounded. Younger rats are likely to be on the lean side.
- The nose, eyes, ears, and rear end should be clean and free from discharge.
These little lizards don’t require a large tank like many reptiles do and are very docile for children to handle. They don’t have the tendency to bite, especially when raised from the common 3 or 4 week old hatchling. They don’t even need fresh fruits and veggies prepared daily and leopard geckos don’t smell. They’re also quiet so there’s no need to worry about squeaky hamster wheels turning in the middle of the night. They come in a variety of different colors or morphs, too! Leopard geckos may live 20 or more years and can be a very enjoyable exotic pet.