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Rats vs. Hamsters: Which is the Better Pet for Your Toddler?

When choosing a pet for their child, many parents are more inclined to choose a hamster over a rat. They see the hamster as cute and cuddly. Rats are associated with sewers, dark alleyways, and being dirty. But rats actually make for a better pet.

Hamsters will almost always bite when they are picked up from their cage. They are escape artists and once loose will chew their way into the back of your couch, taking hours to find them. Their small size makes it easy for them to hide. Hamsters need wheels and toys to keep them entertained. Those wheels can be quite noisy during the night, which is their most active period. When playing with them, they are skittish and generally try to get away.

Contrary to popular belief, rats are actually one of your cleaner rodents. They are also very rarely known to bite. They do not use wheels or the other toys that hamsters and gerbils do. They will be happy with a house and a tube to chew on. They are playful and will be a good companion for a toddler. You can let them out to play without worry that they will escape. When we had rats, their favorite thing to do was climb on the outside of their cage. Our son loved to pet them and watch them. Once they are familiar with you, the rats will sit on your shoulder just fine.

One word of advice if you do get a rat, or any rodent as a pet. Make sure you go through a pet store. Do not get your rat from a stranger. You don't know how they were treated, or if they have any diseases. We got our last rats from someone who was giving hers away. She said her daughter was allergic to them. It turned out that they didn't clean the cages often enough and the daughter was reacting to the ammonia. They also fed the rats chips and goodies, thinking that was what the rats wanted to eat and not worrying about the nutritional value. When we tried feeding our rats the food we purchased at a pet store, they refused to eat. They would only eat crackers and sunflower seeds. They were malnourished and in a matter of a few weeks started to act aggressive with each other, and then us. They bit both my husband and son, leaving us no choice but to get rid of them. If you take proper care of your rats then they will be sociable and safe. Whenever you get a new pet, make sure to learn how to take proper care of them.

This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pet Forums.