Choosing Your Child’s First Pet

Your child may think that they’re ready for a dog but, unless you’re willing to do all the work involved in raising them, that isn’t the case. Instead, you should start them off with something low maintenance, something that can teach them what it means to be responsible for them. Here are some tips on choosing a pet that is suitable for your child.

guinea pigs make great pets

Make Sure The Pet is Non-Threatening

Even when an animal is small and not likely to do any damage to a child, dealing with one that is threatening and might even bite (as harmless as they can be) can be distressing for your child. As such, you can look at pets that don’t bite. For instance, guinea pigs tend to be much more friendly than mice or hamsters, and very rarely bite. I had several guinea pigs growing up and remember them all fondly! They’re also very open to cuddling with humans and tend to jump with joy, making them fun and characterful pets to own. Check out some DIY cage plans on PetKeen.

Choose Pets That Are Easy To Keep Track Of

Your child may not be able to move fast enough to catch up with a cat or a dog. They might take time to feed them or give them the care they need, so getting a pet that is easier to keep track of can be a good idea. Pets that are kept in a stationary area, such as a budgie bird, can be a wise choice, for this reason. You want your child to get used to being in proximity to the pet and for them to get used to their presence. Children can rarely keep up with a dog, making brushing and bath times particularly challenging.

Ensure Your Kids Are Kept Responsible For Their Pets

You want a pet that is easier for your child to care for, but you want to make sure that they are actually learning to care for them, at the same time. As such, you should choose a pet with clear needs and routines that your child can stick to. When looking at fish, find out what constitutes good cichlids care, for instance, and create a care plan with your child. If they’re able to stick to it, they might earn the chance to care for more demanding animals. If they can’t do that much, then they’re not mature enough for pets yet (but you should still take care of whatever pet you got.)

Choose The Right Pet for Your Child

It’s important that we recognize that no animal’s life is disposable, regardless of whether it’s a dog, cat, or something smaller. As such, make sure you’re choosing a pet that your child can commit to. Are they mature and responsible enough to give them the care that they deserve? If they are too young or immature to handle them properly, for instance, then getting them a pet that is a little more passive, such as a goldfish, might be the better option.

Owning pets can be greatly beneficial for our health, so there’s nothing wrong with introducing them to your kid’s lives. However, if they are going to be the responsible party, make sure you get them the right one to start with.

2020 Kimberly Signature

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