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What Small Pets Don’t Bite?

Last Updated: 27.02.20


Small pets known for not biting are fish, turtles, and guinea pigs. Another type of pet you can surely consider is a rat, so do check it out. These rodents are known for being extremely intelligent, sociable, and they can be ideal companions if properly taken care of. 

There are multiple choices when it comes to small pets that you could welcome into your home, but things tend to get rather complicated if kids are involved, so you need to make sure that the little fellow you choose won’t bite them. The truth is that any pet is an excellent addition to a child’s home since he or she has the chance to learn a bit more about responsibility. 

The great part about pets is that they teach responsibility in a fun and loving way, but it’s also important to make sure that both the kid and the pet remain safe at all times. Children don’t always realize that another living soul might feel threatened by them if he or she is mishandled, and that this could lead to potentially dangerous situations that involve biting. 

Therefore, many parents might ask themselves “What is the right choice for children?”. On the other hand, the answer depends a lot on the kid’s age as well. Things are very different for a 5-year-old than for a 10-year-old. Of course, as they grow up, children can take and should be given more responsibilities, and this might mean other pets such as dogs. 

But until they get to that point, you can always start with something smaller and ideally risk-free. However, you should keep in mind that any animal can feel threatened at some point, and if that’s the case, it will do everything needed to protect itself, including biting. 

But if we’re talking about pets that have been in the family for a while already, the chance of anything bad happening is a lot lower. With this being said, let’s take a look at what small pets you could choose from that aren’t known for biting their owners. 



This might not be the first thing that comes to mind, especially since one cannot cuddle fish. However, they are very beautiful to watch, calming, and since they can’t really harm a person, they might be just the solution you’ve been looking for. For young kids aged 3 or older, fish can be a great first pet. 

They need to be fed daily, but there’s nothing complicated in showing a child how to sprinkle food around the water. You need to be careful though because overfeeding the fish can hurt them, so this needs to be made clear to avoid any disappointment. 

The tank poses more troubles since it needs to be cleaned, so you will probably need to be doing this yourself. It’s also true that fish can carry diseases and germs, but their transmission is rare. However, you should always make sure that you buy any pet from a reliable source and take it to a vet before bringing it into your home for the first time. 

The tank’s location is another aspect that you should take into account, given that your kid should be able to watch the fish, but without being able to reach into the water, as this might bother the fish. While these creatures are a very good first choice, they do tend to die rather frequently compared to other types of pets, so you might have to explain this to your child. 


Frogs, iguanas, turtles, snakes, and other reptiles are cute, small, and they don’t cause allergies due to their lack of fur. Ok, maybe snakes are not cute for everyone, but that’s just because they are most of the times misunderstood. However, you may want to start off with something easier than a snake if you are getting a pet for your kid. 

In terms of biting, wild turtles might pose some threat since they bite to protect themselves. However, those that are already used to human presence have very low chances of biting in an aggressive way. The scenario in which you should be worried that a turtle might bite its owner is by mistake if it’s being fed out of hand.

All in all, turtles are a good choice as pets for households with kids, and they are also usually healthy and strong, so if no accident happens, then you may not need to explain to your young ones that it went to live on a farm. 

Iguanas, on the other hand, should not be kept as pets by anyone who doesn’t have experience with these reptiles, and especially around kids. They need to be properly socialized, have multiple specific needs, and they can also bite which could lead to extremely serious issues, so you should steer clear of them as pets. 

While not all reptiles bite and some of them can actually be quite calm and enjoy their time on a hot rock, they don’t really like being cuddled or hugged, so if you are looking for friendlier presence, then other alternatives might be better. 


Guinea pigs

This brings us to the next type of pets that you could take into account. Guinea pigs are rodents, which can sometimes make them agitated, but the truth is that these little guys are friendlier than hamsters or mice, for example. They tolerate and even enjoy being petted and held, and they tend not to bite. 

Another reason for which a guinea pig might be an ideal pet for you is that they tend to live longer compared to other rodents. If you take good care of your little guy, then you might share up to 5 or even 7 years together, which is a lot more than with hamsters, for example. 

With their unique and adorable habits, guinea pigs are excellent pets and the risks of getting injured or bitten in any way are very small. One of their downsides, on the other hand, is that they tend to make a lot of noise and if their cage is not kept clean, it can develop unpleasant odors. 

However, if you think that a guinea pig is a right addition to your family, then you will definitely enjoy their curious habit known as popcorning, which basically means they hop around when they are very happy and excited about something. They can also learn a lot of tricks, which is something that kids might really enjoy doing. 


Simply thinking about rats might make some people scared or disgusted, but there is a reason for which these rodents have survived almost any conditions, namely that they are highly intelligent. For this reason, they are very friendly and if they grow up with humans that handle them often, they are great companions. 

They can play a lot, learn new tricks, and enjoy many types of interactions with their owners. Also, they are very fun to feed since they eat many of the foods that we do. You might not be convinced right now, but rats are excellent pets to have around. 

One of the downsides to owning a rat is that they don’t live for too long. Their average lifespan is somewhere around 2 years, maybe even less. Rats are also extremely social, so if you get a pair, they will be very happy, even though it means extra work for you. Of course, you need to be careful with the breeding part, but that’s another story. 

For households with kids, parents need to be careful and avoid any rough handling by young children, since rats can bite if they feel threatened. On the other hand, according to many rat owners, the chances of this happening are very small, especially if the pet has nothing to be scared of. 




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Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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