There comes a day in every kid’s childhood that they decide they want their own pet. As a parent of a animal-loving child, there a couple of things that go through your mind. Is he or she capable of being a good care taker for the pet? Do they have any allergies? Does the family enough money for a pet? And most importantly, what kind of pet would be best for my child? Don’t stress, there are options. Having a pet teaches responsibility and care taking as well as love and companionship.
Fish are go-to pets for beginner pet owners and small children. They are inexpensive, small, and don’t require a lot of attention. But, despite what most people think, goldfish are not always the best fish for kids. The Beta fish or a Siamese Fighting fish is actually much more simple to care for. The only requirement is that they need to live in solitude or they will fight one another. Brine shrimp and hermit crabs are also very easy to take care of for beginners. Brine shrimp are small shrimp that come in kits from the store that will include all instructions and equipment on how to take care of them. All your child has to do is feed them once a day and watch them grow!
Hermit crabs are a whole lot of fun due to their decorative shells. You can purchase painted and unique shells at the pet store and your crab will move into the shells as it grows.
Rodents are small and perfect for households that do not have a lot of room. Guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are the most common type of rodents and are very social once they get acquainted with their owners and very entertaining to watch on the wheel or simply play with. Keep in mind that guinea pigs and gerbils need to be of the same sex if you purchase more than one, to prevent reproduction, but hamsters prefer to live alone. On the downside for all rodents, there is a lot of cage cleaning required, so be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Of course, the more popular pets are cats and dogs, but they are for more advanced pet owners at the same time. Kittens are very playful, calm, and easygoing. They require less care and attention than dogs, but also can scratch a lot, which may not be the best choice for small toddlers. Litter cleaning and vet visits will be needed, so this can be a little time consuming for busy bees.
On the other hand, dogs can be very hyper and playful. They are known to be a man’s best friend because of their active and affectionate personalities. Certain breeds such as retrievers, terriers, and beagles are known to be the friendliest with children. All dogs require a lot of care and dedication. From everyday walking and feeding and exercise to buying new toys or treats and constant visits to the vet, it can be very time consuming in the long run. All the hard can all be worth it if your child learns responsibility and gets a lifelong best friend.
When in doubt, make sure your child understands the responsibilities and time-commitments of being a pet owner. It is always best to start small. You can also make the decision to get a family pet allowing everyone to take on the responsibilities together.