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Top 5 Exotic Pets for Kids

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There are many suitable exotic pets for kids available, but some are much better choices than others. Consider this list, and what you are looking for in a pet before making a decision on an exotic pet for your child.

1. Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig Picture
Photo © About.com user Katherine

I love cavies for kids for several reasons.  Guinea pigs don’t typically bite, are not as fragile as the more popular hamster, and are low-maintenance.

They live about 5 or 6 years, which is much longer than a hamster will last, and love to be pet and scratched.  Some pigs even enjoy running around in a large hamster ball to get exercise.

2. Rats

Photo © Flickr user asplosh

These rodents are so smart!  They have unique personalities and love to play with toys and puzzles.  Rats are hardier than hamsters and typically live longer than them too.  Rats don’t have the reputation for biting like hamsters have either.

3. Leopard Geckos

Leopard Gecko Close Up
Photo © Lianne McLeod

These little lizards don’t require a large tank like many reptiles do and are very docile for children to handle.  They don’t have the tendency to bite, especially when raised from the common 3 or 4 week old hatchling.

They don’t require UVB lighting because they are nocturnal creatures and don’t need fresh fruits and veggies prepared daily.

They don’t smell and are quiet so no need to worry about squeaky hamster wheels turning in the middle of the night.

4. Rabbits

Ringgo - Rabbit Picture
Photo © About.com user Meli

There are so many different breeds of rabbits to choose from, but the more common varieties are hardy pets for kids.  They aren’t usually biters, live longer than hamsters, and are very personable.

5. Bearded Dragons

Draco - Bearded Dragon
Photo © About.com user Kathy Williams

Like leopard geckos, beardies are gentle creatures.  A little hardier than the geckos, bearded dragons don’t bite and are the perfect size for small hands.  These lizards love to hang out on a child’s shoulder while homework is being completed, and are quiet, don’t smell, and live up to 20 years. 

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