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Top Five Best Pets for First Time Pet Owners

Updated on October 1, 2017

Best First Time Pets

If you have children who have started in on the "Can we have a pet?" routine you may be wondering where to start, this article may help you find the best first time pet for your little ones. This can be a difficult decision to make, a lot of it will depend on what your child decides they prefer but its always good to have an idea of what your looking for before you make that trip to your local pet store.



Rats are at the top if this list for a reason, they are one of the best pets for children or a first time pet owner of any age. A healthy happy rat will not bite those tiny fingers and will instead offer snuggles and kisses. Rats can also be taught tricks if you have the patience to train them, they are the most dog like of all the pets on this list and will delight both you and your children with their antics. They will hang out on your shoulder and the males will grow up to become big snuggle bugs while the females will be more active and curious, wanting to crawl all over you and their environment if you let them. Rats are highly intelligent creatures and will actively seek out your attention. Rats are the most interactive pets on the list and you won't regret bringing them into your life.



Gerbils are fun little pets who also have a low bite risk, if handled daily they will get used to being picked up and will want your attention. They prefer shoulders to ride on and are a little bit more squirmy than other small pets so interaction may need to be supervised at first. Gerbils love to dig so a nice big fluffy bedding will make them happy and keep you entertained with their tunneling and digging around. Gerbils will also enjoy running around on a wheel, almost as much as hamsters.


Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs don't often bite and are great fun to watch. They make a whistle like noise and can't jump. They also should never be put inside those plastic running balls for rodents and shouldn't be expected to run on a wheel. Guinea Pigs spines do not bend backwards so forcing them to run around in a ball or trying to get them to run on a wheel can injure their spines and could potently kill them. They can be kept in small groups and make fun fluffy snugly pets when cared for properly. A well cared for guinea pig will delight your family with its antics and all the various noises they make. Sometimes guinea pigs kept in small groups will "whistle" together almost as if they are singing.



Hamsters are cute and popular as far as small pets go but they are notorious for being biters often when unprovoked, even when handled as babies there is still a chance they may bite as an adult. I have met a hand full of hamsters who were sweet and never bit but statistically they have the worst bite reputation of all the pets on this list. They like to tunnel and dig around in the bedding so they do make interesting pets if you can get around their reputation. They come in many different colors and even in different coat types. They like to ride around on shoulders and will stuff their cheeks full of food which can be very entertaining to watch. They can make decent pets of care for correctly and handled with respect.


Fish are decent first time pets though I don't recommend gold fish unless you want to run a full 10 gallon tank for just a few fish. Gold fish are messy fish and will require more maintenance than most people want to put into them, hence why parents are often seen at pet stores searching for an exact replica of "Goldie".

Betta Fish, are easy to care for and are very tough, they can take quite a bit "neglect" before they suffer the same fate as poor "Goldie". Contrary to popular belief these fish need more space then just a tiny "Betta bowl" A 5 gal. tank should be the minimum size of aquarium for your fishy friend. Betta Fish are also fairly entertaining, they will fan out their fins and strut around their tanks as if on patrol and may occasionally try to pick a fight with their own reflections.


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