Great Exotic Pets for Kids

Your children are begging you for a pet, but your family isn’t ready for the commitment of a cat or dog. Have you considered an exotic pet? Exotics could refer to reptiles, rodents, and much more—here, a Lorain veterinarian offers some suggestions.


A rat probably isn’t your first thought when considering a pet for children, but don’t let the societal stigma fool you. Rats are friendly, social animals that can make wonderful pets for children. They’re generally a little easier to handle than mice or hamsters, and they’re not as skittish. They do thrive when paired with another rat, so you may have to consider getting more than one. Ask your vet for more insight.


Anoles are small lizards that are very easy to care for and can be great “starter” pets. They only get as big as a few inches, and they’re very exciting to watch and interact with. As long as your children understand that the lizard needs constant supervision outside of his cage, an anole can make a great addition to your household.

Leopard Geckos

A leopard gecko is a unique and fun pet that can work well with kids or anyone new to reptile ownership. They’re generally docile lizards that are easy to handle. It’s important to note that the leopard gecko does have specific housing and feeding requirements, and owning one may cost more than, say, an anole. For the right family, however, a leopard gecko can make the perfect fascinating pet.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs may not always be considered an “exotic” animal, but they’re great starter pets for kids nonetheless. They’re friendly, curious, sociable animals who love interacting with their human companions. If children can be gentle with them and understand the necessary care regimen, a guinea pig can work quite well.

Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are likely an exotic pet that you haven’t considered. Of course, they’re not like most pets in that they aren’t very active and don’t interact with their owners. However, their very low cost and relative low-maintenance nature can make them appealing pets, and young children will probably find their intricate shell patterns and colors fascinating.

Your Lorain veterinarian can provide you with further advice on what sort of exotic pet might work best for you, your children, and your family as a whole. Give him or her a call today!

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