Purchasing A Small Animal for a First Pet

I remember being a child and wanting a pet to call my own. I had a dog at the time, Vince, a Boston Terrier, but I wanted to get a pet that I could keep in my room and be mine and mine only. Being that my brother and mom were not a fan of rats or mice, I asked if I could get a hamster. I was so happy when it was Ok’d by my mom and I went and got my first little buddy. I named him “Nosey” because of the way he wiggled his nose all the time when he sniffed around.

Flash forward to today. I now have a 10 year old daughter and like myself, she is an animal lover. The other day, she told me she wanted to be a vet.

Being that I hadn’t had a small animal for a while, (I owned rats for a couple years, but their equipment and cages were long gone) and certinally not a hamster, I was happy when I decided to check out PetSmart and start my journey there.

What I loved most about my experience with PetSmart was how knowledgeable the staff was. I spoke with Matt, who was the associate working in that department that evening. I saw hamsters of all kinds (some I had never seen before) and I told him what I was looking for. I wanted a hamster that was most open to human contact and less likely to be aggressive or bite. He suggested without hesitation, we get a Fancy Bear Siberian  hamster. The ones in stores are black. I loved this as I had always thought hamsters were tan-ish in color.

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I noticed that the hamsters sold at PetSmart were all male. I inquired why and Matt told me this was in order to avoid a pregnancy situation. In other words, it is to make sure you don’t take home one hamster and end up with a few more than you bargained for because the hamster you chose was pregnant. I remember buying female rat once and about 3 days after we bought her, we had 10 babies. I was not very happy. I think it is great that PetSmart takes this precaution.

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After I had chosen the hamster I wanted to adopt, and Matt had answered all my questions, I filled out an adoption form and asked him to help me pick a cage. He pointed out an amazing set up that included all the pieces needed for a first home-food, bedding, a water bottle, wheel and even chew toys. He was very good at helping me compare prices and I told him my budget and there were several options to go with. He even showed me great accessories to purchase to make my hamster’s home the best ever!

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Overall, I highly suggest adopting a small animal from PetSmart. The associates are friendly and extremely knowledgeable. I loved how smooth this purchase was and I was very impressed with Matt’s professionalism and knowledge.

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Some things to keep in mind if you want to get a small animal for your children:

  • Make a budget that offers a bit of room in it for purchasing your pet’s supplies.
  • Do your research on what small animal would best fit your life. Don’t pick a nocturnal animal if the activity will bother you at night.
  • Pick an animal that is age appropriate. An animal that requires a lot of care may not be the best for a child under the age of 10.
  • Ask lots of questions when you purchase. If the employee doesn’t know the answers, find someone who does.
  • Purchase from a reputable business. This is crucial for making sure you get a healthy animal.

Overall, I think small pets can be great for older kids. They can teach responsibility and give your kiddo a fun and enriching experience!

4 Replies to “Purchasing A Small Animal for a First Pet”

  1. I remember getting my first small pet (and only one I have had). My parents did not really want me to get one but we had gone to the local store that had a little bit of everything. We went there mostly for gardening supplies but I always stopped and looked at their large pet area that was filled with dogs, cats, and small animals. They happened to be doing a drawing for prizes for the holidays. I cannot remember if it was Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it was one of those and they called my name over the loud speaker. I had won! I got to choose between a hamster and supplies or a rabbit and chose the hamster which was so named “Mr. Hammy Hamilton Wigglenose”. I don’t think I could have come up with a longer name. Lol. I remember he was a small furry hamster that was brown and white…. I believe he was a Teddy Bear hamster.
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  4. I really enjoyed this post. I personally think small animals make great first pets for children. Unlike a dog, a hamster or a rat is easy enough for a young child to maintain. They also don’t need to be walked or potty trained.
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