Are you seriously considering introducing a new pet into the family? Choosing the best pet will be a difficult decision, as there are bound to be pros and cons to owning each animal. For help making up your mind, learn more about the ten best pets for children, in no particular order.
If you or your child are looking for a new best friend, a dog is the perfect fit for the family. These loyal, supportive creatures will happily stand by your side 24 hours a day and will stand in the way of anyone who could potentially cause you harm.
Despite their many positive qualities, dogs do require much upkeep, as they can be as demanding as a newborn baby. Not only will you have to feed your pet pooch, but he or she will require daily exercise, as well as grooming and training. What’s more, they cannot be left alone for long periods of time, so it is unfair to welcome a dog into the family if you cannot provide them with the love and attention they deserve – or you must be willing to hire a dog walker to tend to your canine in your absence.
Cats are affectionate animals but are a lot more independent in comparison to dogs. For this reason, they require less attention. They are, therefore, an ideal family pet if you want an animal to cuddle, but don’t want to take on the responsibilities associated with a canine. As with any pet, cats will require regular food, water, grooming and attention. Similar to dogs, they are not an ideal pet if you, your partner or children have allergies to dander.
People looking for a low maintenance pet should look no further than fish. While you might not be able to cuddle a fish, you can happily watch them for hours on end as they explore their fish tank. However, fish care and attention should still be a top priority when welcoming the aquatic animals into the home. For example, you must routinely clean their tanks, and invest in filter systems to create a clean environment for your pet. If you can handle basic maintenance duties, the underwater pets can be a fun and soothing addition to the home that your children will love.
Rabbits are social creatures, so they can add a burst of fun and energy into the home. They will require much stimulation to live a happy life, which is why you should regularly allow a rabbit out of its cage to stretch its legs and have a little fun. However, you must keep an eye on them. While they might be on the small size, they can create much damage within the home if not monitored, so always watch them in the presence of children. The rabbit cage will also require regular cleaning. It’s important to note that some rabbits do not like to be held, which can be upsetting to some younger children.
- Guinea Pig
Just like fish, guinea pigs can make a great first pet, as they are small but filled with big personalities. The only downside is they are easily startled, so they must be handled carefully, and you must create a cage that makes them feel secure. For this reason, they can have short lifespans. Guinea pigs will also require regular brushing, and they are often happier when they have a company of a fellow guinea pig in a cage.
Lizards are easily one of the lowest maintenance pets on this list. If both you and your children have a busy schedule, lizards can be the perfect choice, as they often do not need a great amount of food or grooming to live a healthy life. They are, however, better suited to older children, as they must be handled with great care. As they are not playful creatures by nature, they do not require much attention. They are still a big commitment, as most lizards can enjoy long lifespans.
If your child wants a playful, cuddly pet, they will love a hamster. Despite their spirited nature, hamsters are quite independent, so can be a great low-maintenance pet. Owners must, however, clean their cage each week and ensure the hamster receives plenty of exercise. The biggest downside is they often have short lifespans, so they will teach your child about loss sooner than you might like.
Birds love spending time playing with their owners but are happy to spend most of their days locked inside a cage. You can provide them with a safe place to flap their wings inside the home – just make sure the doors and windows are closed. They may frighten smaller children, as they could be afraid of a flying animal. For this reason, they might be better suited to older kids.
No parent wants their child to grieve the loss of a pet, which is why turtles could be a perfect choice, as they have longer lifespans in comparison to other animals. As a result, they may grow with your child into adulthood. Turtles will only thrive in specific environments, so you will need to provide them with the right temperature and lighting at all times.
Chinchillas are beautiful pets which have a soft fur that’s soothing to stroke. They can also live up to 20 years old, so will become a much-loved member of the family over the years. Not only that, but they often do not require much maintenance, as they are happy with a solid floor, wire cage, fresh drinking water and pellets from the pet shop. However, they are fragile animals, so should not be handled by children under the age of 10 years old.
Have you welcomed any of the above pets into the family home? Share your tips and stories by writing a comment.