Should You Replace Your Child’s Dead Hamster?

Hamsters make delightful pets for families, especially those with children who want to teach their children about first-time pet ownership and what is involved in caring for a pet. But one of the sad realities of pet ownership is dealing with the death of a cherished pet. But should you replace your child’s dead hamster?

Give Your Child Time to Grieve

Just as children need time to grieve the loss of a close family member or friend, so too do they need time to grieve the loss of a pet. Give your child time to grieve by allowing them time to express how they feel now that they can no longer cuddle Bluebell or feed her lettuce each day.

Giving in to your own feelings and hastily buying a new hamster can backfire. Although you are only trying to make your child feel better, your child may end up resenting the presence of the new hamster when they are still struggling to overcome their recent loss.

How Does Your Child Feel About Getting a New Hamster?

Each pet is unique, with its own personality traits, quirks and characteristics that make pet owners fall in love with their furry friends. Dealing with the death of a pet, any pet, is a blow to the whole family, least of all young children, who may not fully understand what has happened.

Before you head off to the pet shop to buy a new hamster, find out how your child feels. It is important to acknowledge that the dead hamster meant something to your child, rather than seek to “replace” him straightaway with another hamster that resembles him.

A New Hamster Can Heal Wounds

Replacing your child’s dead hamster can help to heal wounds by giving your child another pet to lavish their love and attention on. Wait until your child is ready for a new hamster and then take them with you to help pick out a new hamster. The process of bringing home a new hamster, even hot on the heels of the death of a beloved hamster, can do wonders to help your child heal from their loss.

While buying a new hamster soon after the death of your child’s hamster may seem like a good idea right now, do not be too hasty. Give your child time to grieve their loss. Let them talk about how they feel. Some children will happily accept a new hamster soon after they have buried their last hamster, while others would rather wait. Take your cue from your child so that you do not make a rash decision that you will later regret.

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