If you’re considering getting a pet for your child, you may well have concerns around safety, lifetime commitment, and ease of care. The fact that you are considering these things is a great starting point, as it shows you and your family will be responsible pet owners, but what is the best pet for a young child?
In this article, we will explore some of the options you have and the pros and cons of each.
Fish are generally the lowest commitment when it comes to pets, since they have a short life span, and don’t require a lot of your time aside from being fed daily and a partial water change twice per week. The downside of fish is that the novelty for children can wear off very quickly as they often prefer a more hands on pet option.
Cats are great as they are quite independent but will also come for a cuddle when the mood takes them. Young cats can be very playful also which is great for children. However, they are a very long term commitment, living up to 20 years, so you really need to be certain you are able to care for a pet for this length of time.
It’s no lie that a dog is man’s best friend, and in many cases a child’s first friend. Often dogs will become very protective of their child, especially if you have had them from being a puppy. But there is a risk of a dog not adapting to life with a young child should you opt for a rescue dog.
Dogs, like cats, can live a significant length of time, usually between 10-16 years. However, dogs tend to become more attached to their owners than cats, so they may pine for you if you go on holiday, etc. These are considerations you should think about when considering a dog.
A dog is a great companion that your child can really bond with, and they will enjoy training them with tricks, etc as well. Dogs take a lot of exercise compared to most other household pets, so you have to be prepared for this also.
Birds are fascinating pets, and there are a lot of options depending on your circumstances, from chickens to parrots and budgies. Generally, caged birds like budgies are happier in pairs as they are quite social animals, but that being said, it is possible to just keep one.
Budgies live an average of 5-8 years, so are a great option for a pet that will bond with your child and allow them to care for a pet in a hands-on way, without the very long-term commitment.
Ensuring the health of your bird is vital, as they are sensitive to their diets, and choosing a complete food for your pet is one way to contribute to this. Little Peckers offers a great range of balanced foods for all kinds of pet birds. The products there are also extremely affordable, and you know you are getting the best nutrition for your feathered friend.
Small furries include small, caged pets such as rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs. These make great pets, although they can be crushed easily and so are not really suitable for very young children. They can also be temperamental if they are not handled enough when young. They are fairly easy to take care of; however, they do require their cages to be cleaned regularly which isn’t the most pleasant job.
Choosing a first pet for a child is difficult, and you must consider how long you are willing to commit to a pet and also things like whether your family travels a lot. Get your child involved in the decision, as this should help make it easier.