Buying pets for kids can be a big challenge. There are quite a few factors one must consider before agreeing to buy a pet for the family. A pet is not all fun and games; they are a lot of responsibility. However, on the other hand, pets can be a great way to teach kids how to handle responsibility at an early age. It also teaches them the importance of companionship. So, how to decide if it’s the right time to buy a pet?
Is Your Kid Ready for A Pet? What is a Good Pet for A Kid?
Well, first off, age is an influential factor. If your child is still on the younger side, a pet may be too much responsibility. But if your child has crossed a basic developmental age, then perhaps a pet may be a good idea. There are many different options when it comes to pets for kids, but selecting one should depend on multiple factors instead of just preference. While there is no fixed number on how many pets a kid should have, starting with one is logical. More may not be the merrier in this case.
Also Read: Instead of letting your kid face the consequences of excessive screen time from playing games, you should get your kid a pet to keep him busy.
What to Consider while Choosing Pets for Kids?
Like we said, considering just preference may land you in trouble, and so here are a few things you should consider before introducing a pet to your family:
1. Your Child’s Nature
Is your child naturally nurturing? If so, maybe it could be a good idea to get them the pet they want. If not, try and develop the necessary skills by starting with a pet that requires less care.
2. Pet Care
Just how much care does your potential pet need? A dog can be really high maintenance, but a cat is easier to handle. One of the easiest to take care of are tortoises and fish. However, tortoises stay alive for years, and fish can be tricky to keep alive, especially if it’s only your child who’s taking care of their pet.
This really does go without saying, but consider your family’s allergies before buying a pet. Children get attached to pets relatively fast, and separating them once they have bonded because of allergic reactions can be dreadful for their emotional development. Make sure to check for allergies to avoid that.
Also Read: You have to get your kid checked for the allergies, but if you know what allergy your kid has you can treat that with quick home remedies before it gets worse.
4. Time Matters
While this may vary from age to age, it is, on the whole, somewhat unrealistic for a child to be able to take care of a pet all by themselves. They will need bits and pieces of help here and there. Make sure you keep in mind how much time you have to commit to a pet before jumping on the bandwagon.
5. Can You Afford it?
Getting a pet is basically adding another member to your family. Taking care of a pet can add a great deal to your annual budget. They would need regular veterinarian check-ups, their own food, and other protective medicines and products. Take into account these added expenses and check if you can afford them.
The 8 Best Pets for Kids – Ranked
Now that you have made sure you truly want to get a pet and that the pros outweigh the cons, here is a list of the ten best pets for kids. These are some of the most accessible pets to take care of and can end up teaching your kid more than just responsibility.
The most obvious on the list, dogs, is almost everyone’s default pet choice, whether for kids, teens or even adults. Dogs are the perfect pets for kids. They are loyal, cuddly, and will protect you with all their heart. Moreover, dogs teach kids how to be compassionate and empathetic. Once a dog gets attached to you and you to him, there’s no going back.
Cats are one of the earliest domesticated creatures. Compared to dogs, they are much easier to take care of. They usually take care of themselves, clean themselves and come and go around the house as they please. Cats are hard to tame and take longer to bond with their humans, but once they do, they’ll always be snuggling into your body for extra cuddles.
Perhaps the most accessible pets to take care of, tortoises are great pets for little kids just learning to be responsible. They require little to no attention, and while they aren’t the most fun to play with, there’s plenty of activities you can do with a pet tortoise to help your kid bond with its pet.
You can have multiple fish in a tank, and you would have the perfect pet for a child on the younger side. Fish don’t need much attention; they need food twice a day and an occasional clean of the tank. But that’s about it. However, there are only so many activities a child can do with their fish. There’s not much to bond over, and fish is perhaps the most passive pet of all.
One of the most popular pets for kids, rabbits are great pets for active kids who want more of an involvement with their pets but with a reduced responsibility. Rabbits are easy to take care of but offer the same emotional connection as a dog or a cat may. Moreover, they are active pets that will give your child the exercise they need on a day to day basis.
6. Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pigs are tiny little pets that make the perfect companion to a young child. They are best kept in pairs, but if your pair is a male and a female, make sure the male is neutered. Otherwise, a pair may turn into a lot more within just a week. Guinea Pigs are tiny and energetic and are great to pet and play with.
Another one of the common household pets for kids are birds. Typically parrots and their different species are more popular. This is because they are fun to talk to and are actually quite intelligent. In fact, talking parrots are hilarious and have a tendency to say just the right thing at the right time. However, taking care of birds is no small feat and may be appropriate for older kids only.
Remember The Witches by Roald Dahl? Tell me you didn’t want mice as pets then, and you would be lying. Now, mind you, mice aren’t the same as nasty rats, and they can, in fact, make for great pets. All you need to make sure the mice are well-fed, clean and vaccinated. They require little to no maintenance and are super fun to bond with.
Pets can be great fun. Not only do they teach a kid responsibility and compassion, but having a pet can also be therapeutic. It helps in personality development and helps the child bond better with people. Pets and children get attached quite fast, and that bond becomes a sweet memory the kid will cherish all their lives. So take our advice, and get your kid a pet, stat!
Also Read: Pets help relieve stress because they keep your kids busy and active during the day. That is why children sleep issues also get reduced.