Respecting the needs of small mammals

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves
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From mice to guinea pigs, most shelters have small mammals available for adoption. But just because they’re pint-size, not all these cuties are suitable pets for young children.

Hamsters are nocturnal and often bite when awakened in the daytime. This makes them unsuitable playmates for small kiddos. Even children over 6 years of age should handle hamsters only with an adult nearby.

On the other hand, mice are active during the day just like kids are. But they’re delicate and require gentle care, so once again young pet owners should be watched by an adult.

Both gerbils and guinea pigs are active in the daytime and rarely bite. They can be great pets for older children who’ve aced their handling skills.

Just like their larger cousins, small mammals need respect, a gentle touch and attention to thrive as pets in any family.