The hottest toy this year may be the Zhu Zhu pet hamster, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. John Kass recently wrote in his Chicago Tribune column that “Evil fake hamsters don’t deserve a place under the tree”. Children will “learn nothing about life from a fake hamster,” said Kass. “A fake hamster can’t love. Their cuddles are cold and empty.”

According the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children raised with pets show many benefits:

  • “A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way.”
  • “Taking care of a pet can help children develop social skills.”
  • “Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.”
  • “Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others.”
  • “A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion and empathy.”

first-petThese are just a few of the benefits that owning a real pet can provide to children. Hamsters are, in fact, good first pets and our staff can help you learn everything you need to know about buying and owning a real, live hamster for your family.

Avoid the crowds — unlike the mobs clambering for Zhu Zhus, we have hamsters available and in stock for the holidays here at The Animal Store, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff that can answer all your questions. Family fun with your own pet hamster will continue long after the Zhu Zhu has been forgotten in the box.
critter-trailThe Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster House House Starter Set with Mr. Patches toy hamster retails for $84.99.  The Animal Store Hamster Starter set includes:
  • CritterTrail Starter Habitat with quiet exercise wheel, water bottle and food dish, with expandability ports to add on accessories
  • food
  • bedding
  • hamster treats
  • and a REAL live young hamster — that you get to name yourself!

Everything you need for family fun all for just $50.

Come in and ask what pet is right for you and your family. And leave a comment to tell us how caring for a real life pet changed your life.