Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Arizona Phoenix
You need pet ideas?
When obtaining a pet for a child, it's important to think about the life expectancy of the pet and all the changes that could take place in the child's life during the pet's life span. For example, a rabbit who is well cared for will probably live 8-12 years, so if you buy or adopt a baby rabbit for an 11 year old, the rabbit will likely be with you until the kid is 19-23. During that time, not only is the kid likely to lose interest, but he or she is likely to go off to college, join the military, or leave home for other reasons. You will then be stuck with the pet. You'll be stuck even longer if you get an iguana, as a well cared for iguana can easily live 20 years. Some parrot and turtle species live longer still.
For this reason, I highly recommend you think about what type of pet YOU would like to live with and would enjoy caring for. If you don't want a pet yourself and definitely want the pet to be the responsibility of the 11 year old, either choose a pet belonging to a short-lived species or adopt an older animal who probably won't live more than a few more years.
Syrian hamsters are among the lowest maintenance pets, and have relatively short life expectancies, so you may want to consider a Syrian hamster. Syrians (unlike some other hamster species) are naturally solitary, so you can adopt just a single hamster and not worry about the hamster being lonely. If you do decide on a Syrian hamster, be sure to obtain a large, escape-proof cage and a safe exercise wheel such a Wodent Wheel. The hamster will need plenty of bedding. Do NOT use cedar or pine beddings, as these are harmful to small mammals. One good type of bedding is. One negative of hamsters is that they are nocturnal, so a hamster kept in a child's bedroom may wake the child in the night by running in his exercise wheel.
You may want to read the book "Are You the Pet for Me?: Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family" by Mary Jane Checchi. One of the best features of this book is that for each species it discusses what children of different age groups will be able to do to assist in the care of pets of that species. "Are You the Pet for Me?" is available from Amazon.
Animal shelters have pets of all species available, so I'd encourage you to save a life by adopting a pet from a shelter instead of buying one from a pet store. Many of the "pocket pets" surrendered to animal shelters are still very young, although older animals are also available.