Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Great First Pets


7
Gerbil, Hamster or Mouse
Taking care of a few mice in a cage is a classic example of a child's first pet.
Taking care of a few mice in a cage is a classic example of a child's first pet.
ŠiStockphoto/Thinkstock

These three tiny members of the rodent family are all considered classic pets for children. They are, by and large, good tempered. Their main requirements in life are food, water, a clean and comfy cage, and a wheel for exercise. Most small rodents can be adequately socialized with at least five minutes of handling per day. Plus, they're cute as buttons. The biggest thing to watch out for with all three animals is that they're excellent escape artists. They can easily squeeze through very small holes, run quickly, and (this is especially true with gerbils) gnaw through some types of cages. Therefore, a healthy sense of vigilance is important.