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Pasha's_Mom
05-04-06, 12:05 pm
Thank you! Longtime lurker, finally registered.

By the way, don't have a guinea pig yet, but I am thinking of getting one for my 6-year-old son who really wants one. I've been lurking on boards to try to decide whether to get a pig or a teddy bear hamster. That's my story!

Kriket
05-04-06, 12:12 pm
As far as trying to decide between a pig and a teddybear hamster, I have each kind as pets (or family members, however you want to refer to them) and they are both great to have.

Pasha's_Mom
05-04-06, 12:19 pm
Kriket:

I've talked with a number of friends about hamsters vs. piggies, and the consensus (and tell me if they're wrong) is: Piggies are a little more "laid-back" and maybe easier for a young child; hamsters are maybe a little "smarter" (whatever that means with rodents) and livelier, but maybe more challenging for a young pet owner.

I'm really trying to stall the decision for a while until my son is a little older and more responsible. I know that *I'm* going to be taking care of whatever pets we add, but I'd like him to be more up to his role in it.

As I said, I have no idea if my friends are right or just prejudiced or what.

Kriket
05-04-06, 12:24 pm
It all depends of the personality of the pet. My hamster can be bitey every once in awhile, depending on what mood you catch her in, but my pigs have never bitten me (with the exception of Rock Royalty). Usually hamsters can be "tamed" into actually approaching you to be held, while pigs have the prey instinct and won't usually ever develope into that kind of pet. I don't know what I would pick as a first time pet, as I had my pets before I had my children, so they are all used to each other.
I think (but correct me if I'm wrong) that the term "laid back" may be applied because the pigs were in a pet store cage, and therefore easier to catch? Because I have my girls in a 2x14 "L" shaped cage, and laid back isn't the term I would use to describe them when I'm trying to get them out. HOWever, they do tend to stay put a bit more than the Hamster when they are out for lap time.

Pasha's_Mom
05-04-06, 12:29 pm
Thank you, Kriket! The "prey instinct" you describe is not something anyone's mentioned to me before, but it makes good sense. I see I have more research to do.

I think you're right about the impression pet-store animals leave. I'm not at all interested in getting a pet-store animal (after reading the many warnings here!) and will be getting a rescue animal when the day comes. My Pasha was a rescue, and I'm very committed to keeping the overpopulation of companion animals in check.

And let's not even talk about the son's interest in mice, too ...

Kriket
05-04-06, 12:34 pm
I was also talking about the cage size that mabe your friends were familiar with? If you've seen the home page, you've seen what most of the members' pigs are used to, but I know that my first pair (and consequently, ALL the "craigslist rehomes" that I've done) come in the tiny "My first home" petstore cage, or, as in this last case, a glass aquarium. When I first got Porky and Babe (the "pigs that started it all", as mu husband calls them), they were super easy to catch, because they were in the "my first home delux" or whatever, which I now use as a litterbox for the lot of them. Now that they have so much open space, I practically have to corner them to get them to let me pick them up.

Ly&Pigs
05-04-06, 11:04 pm
I think I would go with the hamster as a 1st time pet for a child. I have had many hamsters and once they are tamed they are good with younger children. Guinea pigs require a lot more maintenance and care than a hamster does. I am sure you know that you as the parent that you will have the ultimate responsibility for any animal you choose. You will be responsible for making sure the animal is fed/watered, cage cleaned, supervising playtime with the pet and your son, etc.

Pasha's_Mom
05-05-06, 10:52 am
Thank you, Ly&Pigs! Finally had a chance to check back in. I'm leaning a little to the hamsters right now, too. And, boy, do I ever know that the buck stops with me!

BabyGrl
05-05-06, 03:55 pm
If you have not already seen it a geat hamster site is http://www.hamsterific.com/

Pasha's_Mom
05-05-06, 04:18 pm
Oh, I hadn't seen that hamster site! Thank you.

BabyGrl
05-05-06, 04:19 pm
No problem. Anything to help.