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The Cutie in the Rodent Family
Member Name: Lea09
Advantages: Cheap, easy to maintain
Hamsters are the perfect childhood gift... until it comes to hugging.
Hamsters are quite an easy pet for children to take care of, with or without supervision. It only needs cleaning out twice a week and when I was younger I always found the process incredibly easy. Feeding it when it's ball was empty and topping up the water are the only other things which are required, making this an incredibly easy pet.
Obviously having to take care of another living thing (which you ususally come to love) helps with responsibilty in children, and I think spending so many years as a child taking care of numurous hamsters made my parents believe at 16 I was responsible enough for a dog, and I think it made me responsible enough too.
Having a hamster is obviously a one off expence of under £10 so obviously isn't too dear. You can also get great starter pack deals on the internet for around £20 which includes the cage, bedding, sawdust and food. Extra of the latter three are certainly not expensive either and you can get great deals buying in bulk. All in all making a hamster and incredibly cheap pet to buy and keep, perfect for my family's budget when I was younger and great value for money all the way through its life.
I've yet to experience death in a proper way as I've never known anyone that has actually died, so all my understand and ability to cope with death has actually come from having hamsters die when I was younger. I think having a pet (which dies after about three years) is quite helpful for kids as an introduction to death if you like, and I think it was certainly of some help to me.
The most obvious negative regarding Hamsters: they're nocturnal. It means that it's not that lively for kids to play with during the day and makes a lot of noise at night.
Problem for me with hamsters when I was younger: I always wanted to give mine a big hug, but with something the size of your hand it's really not a good idea!
Summary: I really think it's the perfect first pet
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