31 answers

What Is a Good Pet for 4 Year Old?

Ok mom's my 4 year old would like a pet, a dog or cat is out of the question what I would like to know is are gerbils, hamsters or guina pigs good pet for a 4 yr old and what kind of up keep do they require? Any ideas on these or any other pets would be great! Thanks

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No matter what you get, 4 year old children are not responsible enough to handle everything themselves. The animal will die if you expect the 4 year old to care for them.

My kids and I have had most of the small critters people keep. But I always knew that I had to be the one to care for them. Kids get very tired of the pet after just a short time. Even if you get lucky enough to have a very responsible child, it's never as simple as just cleaning their cage and cleaning up after them. Each species has their own illnesses to look for and special ways to treat them if they do get sick. Most any animal can and or will bite if they are not handled right. Kids don't mean to be rough. They are usually too loud and too quick in their movements for most animals, so the animal avoids the child. That doesn't help the child to be eager to take care of them.

I think the best animal for any child is one that you personally will love enough to care for.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

I teach preschool and have good luck with guinea pigs. They are larger and can take a little rougher handling. My classroom guinea pigs loves to sit in the children's laps while they color.
Guinea pigs also live 3-6 years. This allows for a good time for a few years. Good luck.

we had hamsters once and I just couldn't take the smell and the upkeep of cleaning the cages once a week. I would recommend a fishtank.

More Answers

No matter what you get, 4 year old children are not responsible enough to handle everything themselves. The animal will die if you expect the 4 year old to care for them.

My kids and I have had most of the small critters people keep. But I always knew that I had to be the one to care for them. Kids get very tired of the pet after just a short time. Even if you get lucky enough to have a very responsible child, it's never as simple as just cleaning their cage and cleaning up after them. Each species has their own illnesses to look for and special ways to treat them if they do get sick. Most any animal can and or will bite if they are not handled right. Kids don't mean to be rough. They are usually too loud and too quick in their movements for most animals, so the animal avoids the child. That doesn't help the child to be eager to take care of them.

I think the best animal for any child is one that you personally will love enough to care for.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

so i kind of do agree that a 4 year old might be too young for a small animal like you're talking about. but it would depend on the child. for us, a fish has been great. although my son is 2 1/2 not 4, he does great with the "low maintenance" of the fish, although he does help feed him and turn the light on in the mornings. our biggest challenge was keeping him from pounding on the glass, putting his fingers all over the glass, even licking the glass...but we've conquered that little issue finally lol. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

we had hamsters once and I just couldn't take the smell and the upkeep of cleaning the cages once a week. I would recommend a fishtank.

You might not like my answer, but i was presented with this same question by my 6 and 4 year old kids last week. I looked at the kids with a straight face and said a pet rock would be perfect. My hubby laughed.

It's not that I don't like animals. Love em. Used to dogsit for a consultant but I had these thoughts go through my head - No cleaning cages, no walking the pet, no feeding the pet, we can go on vacation and not worry about who can watch the rock.

since gerbils, hamsters, etc.....all have a tendency to bite/nibble....I would lean toward either fish or a parakeet (or other small bird).

We've done both. The daily cleaning of the bird cage is a real pain....but the fish are boring! So it was a trade-off.

Good MOrning, I can tell you from first hand experience that Guina pigs are rather gross and dirty little guys! My husbands step mom had some of those and so did a friend. They smell rather yucky very fast. Something easy like a fish would be good right now. I know it's not overly exciting right now, but it will help teach them how to take care of their animal without killing it. (I know that sounds bad) but take it from me, I would collect anything my parents would let me bring home when I was little!! LOL!! Good luck with your search, that's just my opinion. Have fun with what ever you pick!!

My kids have turtles and love them(they have personalities, believe it or not). You just have to make sure they wash their hands but you only have to clean the tank occassionally. The inital set up is a little costly, about $100 and then the turtles. But turtles seem to live forever so you don't have to worry about dealing with death of a pet no time soon.

Good luck,
D.

I'll give a shout out for the guinea pigs. We had three adults and some babies when I was a child. They are a little larger than gerbils and hamsters and therefore SLIGHTLY less fragile. They can be trained to be held, love to be petted, etc. I would suggest a short haired one so that there isn't any real grooming needed. The long haired ones need to be brushed regularly. They are usually really sweet and have more personality than the smaller rodents. They will "talk" to you...squealing when they are hungry, and their purring giggles are just adorable!

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