Small rodents, such as hamsters and gerbils, are very popular as children’s pets but it should be remembered that they are living animals, not toys, and therefore deserve the same care and respect as any other pet.
These animals tend not to have a very long life-span, but this does not mean that their young owners will not get attached to them. Parents should be aware of problems when the animal passes away.
Even if these animals are bought as a child’s pet, the parents should bear in mind that they have overall responsibility to the animal and will need to care for it even if the child is fed up and has lost interest.
Delicate handling is also required if these animals are not to be injured, and a child should never be left unsupervised with a pet.