What pets are good for kids
What Type of Pet is Best for You?
Choosing the best pets for kids
Owning a pet can be a rewarding experience for a child. A well-chosen pet can bring years of joy.
Pet ownership can also be a chance for kids to learn valuable life lessons as they care for a living creature. Pets can teach children about responsibility and dependability with adult guidance. As an added bonus, some pets give affection in return for a child’s loving attention.
A fish may be the perfect “starter” pet for a child, but not just any fish will do. Goldfish may seem like the most obvious choice, but they’re actually more difficult to raise than the Siamese fighting fish (Betta fish).
These Southeast Asian natives are adapted to survive in isolation, in surprisingly small amounts of stagnant water. You may not even need aerators, filters, heaters, or chemicals.
However, betta fish thrive best in small aquariums with at least two gallons of water, regularly changed and kept between 76 and 82°F (24 and 28°C). Be sure to buy your fish from a store that has someone who can advise you on how best to care for them.
The appeal of cold-blooded creatures may be less obvious than that of warm, fuzzy animals, but certain reptiles make prized pets.
Tortoises, such as the plant-eating Russian tortoise, can live more than 50 years. Some snake species also make excellent pets, although constrictors should be avoided.
Added bonus: Reptiles are nonallergenic. However, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against reptiles as pets for young children because they can easily transmit salmonella. Make sure to research specific care requirements for any new reptile pet.
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Birds can be excellent pets. Although, owning a bird is more demanding than caring for a tortoise or fish. Some birds are highly intelligent. Others are very social. All birds require almost daily attention.
The relatively inexpensive parakeet may be a good starter for kids who haven’t raised birds before. More expensive (and more intelligent) birds like cockatiels and cockatoos also make great pets, but they may need more attention than parakeets or canaries.
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Smaller mammals, including hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils, are relatively easy to raise. Also, most will thrive in a relatively small living space, and care is fairly straightforward.
Except for hamsters, which are solitary, it’s best to obtain young same-sex pairs. Regular, gentle handling promotes friendliness. Be mindful, though, that bites are possible should rodents — especially hamsters — feel threatened.
Surprisingly, rats make excellent pets due to their intelligence, larger size, and enjoyment of human companionship. Guinea pigs are also good kid-friendly pets.
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Kittens are childhood favorites. Who can resist the antics of a fluffy feline?
Notoriously independent cats need somewhat less care and attention than dogs, but no less commitment. Like dogs, cats require regular veterinary checkups and immunizations.
It’s important to choose a cat that’s suitable to be around children. A cat may be a better choice than a dog if your family has limited living space.
Your local animal shelter staff can advise you on the temperaments of adoptable cats.
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A cuddly puppy is probably the most classic children’s pet. Keep in mind that choosing the ideal dog involves more than falling for big brown eyes. Some dogs may be unsuitable for children. Before adopting a dog, ensure that the dog is well-socialized and comfortable around children.
Any breed will need a significant commitment of time and effort. Puppies must be housebroken and require daily exercise, regular veterinary checkups and immunizations, and plenty of love. Every dog is different, but kid-friendly breeds include:
- Labrador retrievers
- golden retrievers
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Six-legged creatures might not be the first to come to mind when thinking of pets for children.
However, owning an ant farm can be an entertaining and educational experience for a child. Various suppliers sell habitats designed to let children directly observe ant activities. Ants can be shipped live or grown from eggs.
Hermit crabs are another example of creepy crawlies that are easily raised in captivity.
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Better known as “sea monkeys,” brine shrimp are tiny crustaceans that are essentially foolproof starter pets that even small children can enjoy. They’re available in kits. Children need only add water and watch these tiny shrimp emerge, become active, and grow.
Maintenance for these hardy creatures involves adding feed about once a week and occasionally adding water to combat evaporation. A colony can thrive for a year or more with minimal care.
Caring for a pet can be a positive experience for children. Pets can provide companionship, entertainment, and educational opportunities. Remember, though, pet ownership is also serious business.
Pets are living creatures that require regular care and attention. Their maintenance involves an ongoing financial commitment.
Pets are capable of providing useful lessons about self-restraint, selflessness, and responsibility. Children may require adult supervision when interacting with some pets.
These Are the Best Pets for Kids at Each Age
As many adults know, caring for a pet is a rewarding and satisfying experience. And, adopting a pet that a child can also help take care of can be an enriching experience for your kid.
“It teaches empathy and responsibility. Being responsible for another animal … understanding that other things are relying on you to stay healthy and survive,” says Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM and owner of the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in Bedford Hills, New York. She adds, “Many of these animals are very smart and will give that unconditional love back to you.”
Make Sure Your Kids are on Board With the Type of Pet and Work Involved
As with any pet, when you are looking for the best pets for kids, you want to have a very clear idea of the pet care requirements.
“You have to be educated,” says Dr. Hess. Particularly with exotic pets, you need to know what you are getting into and what to expect from them. Dr. Hess explains, “Often people get frustrated and very disappointed in these animals because [the experience] isn’t what they expected.”
When it comes to choosing the best pets for the kids in your family, it is important that everyone is on the same page. Everyone in the family needs to be willing to actively help with the care of the pet.
Dr. Elizabeth Mackey, veterinarian and owner of Mackey Exotic Animal Clinic in Watkinsville, Georgia, explains that it is important that your children are on board with the pet you decide to get. They need to be just as invested in the well-being and happiness of the pet as you are.
And most importantly, you need to be comfortable with whichever pet you decide to get. So if you are deathly afraid of snakes, they probably are not the best pets for your kids, even if the kids have their heart set on one.
What to Consider When Choosing Pets for Kids
So, how should you go about finding a good match? Both Dr. Mackey and Dr. Hess recommend booking a consultation appointment with a veterinarian who is experienced in the care of the species you are considering.
Consider bringing a list of animals you’re interested in so you can discuss each one and determine what the best pet for your family would be. Some factors to take into consideration include:
Life span of the pet. Kids can get very attached to their pets, so you will need to consider your child’s emotional attachment when choosing pets for kids. However, by a choosing a pet with a longer life span, you will also need to keep in mind that once your child leaves for college or work, you may have to become the sole provider for your family pet.
Space needs. Do you have adequate room (e.g., living space, yard space, etc.) for your chosen pet? You will also need to consider how a pet will grow and if you can accommodate them at their largest adult size.
Care requirements and needs. Talk with your veterinarian about the care requirements for each pet you are considering. Can your family share pet care tasks in a manageable way? Are you financially prepared to take good care of the pet?
Health care costs. All pets require veterinary care. You will need to make sure there is a veterinarian in your area that can help with your chosen pet. If you choose an exotic pet, you can start by looking at the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians. You will also need to make sure that you are financially ready to take on a pet’s health care costs.
What does your child want when it comes to interactions with their pet? “Some of them want [a pet] that they can play with. And, most children want that hands-on interaction,” says Dr. Mackey. “There are some children who would rather have the cool, unique [pet] and not so much the hands-on.”
Is your potential new pet nocturnal or diurnal? This could influence where you want to your pet’s enclosure to reside.
Consider your child’s personality. Is your child calm enough to handle a more fragile creature? You have to consider the pet’s needs and your child’s ability to respect those needs.
What are you going to do if your child loses interest in the pet? It is never acceptable to let an animal suffer because a child cannot or will not take care of it anymore. Are you going to be able to take on all responsibility for the pet’s care (including their emotional needs) or will you find the pet a new, loving home?
You’ll also want to meet your pet in person so you can get a feel for each other. Dr. Mackey cautions that while some pet store employees are highly knowledgeable, others are not, so your veterinarian is the best resource when it comes to determining care requirements for your pet.
After you bring your pet home, you’ll want to book an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so they can assess your pet and then provide you with recommendations on how to best care for them.
Best Pets for Kids Ages 4-7
Parakeets (also called budgies) can be a good option when it comes to pets for kids. “They’re fairly low-maintenance, not super messy and don’t take up a lot of space,” says Dr. Hess. She explains that by the age of 7, children start to understand how to be gentle with pets and can actively engage in their bird’s care.
Parakeets are known to be very affectionate, and they respond well to regular, gentle handling. With training, a parakeet can learn dozens or more words, so your child can actively engage with them in a fun and unique way.
A parakeet is a great pet for kids who are able to respect the small bird’s size. They will not do well with children who handle them roughly or act unpredictably and startle them frequently.
However, if you are willing to work with your child to help them learn how to positively interact with their pet parakeet, Dr. Hess says that these birds can help teach children how to be calm and patient.
When it comes to the everyday care of a parakeet, the parents should take care of the daily cage cleanings, but children can help out with other tasks like washing and filling up the food and water dish and feeding vegetables as a treat.
It is important to remember that parakeets can live into their teens, so this pet would be a long-term commitment.
If you are comfortable with lizards in your home, then a fun and unique pet to consider is the crested gecko.
“Little kids love the gecko because he just sits there in your hand,” says Dr. Mackey. “They’re a cool, cool lizard. They’re the softest animal you will ever touch. Feet stick to the glass on the container. But, they’re nocturnal. You can see them during the daytime, but the evening/early morning is the best time to see them.”
While these little guys can be handled and have some quirky characteristics, you will need to work with your child to be gentle with them. A young crested gecko will need time to adapt to their living situations before you can start conditioning them to be handled, which can take three to four weeks.
Once you do start handling them, you must teach your child to be very gentle, because crested geckos will “drop” (lose) their tails if startled or made to feel threatened.
The care of the crested gecko can be split up between family members. Children can help with mixing a crested gecko’s powdered food with water and how to measure it out. Dr. Mackey says that a child can also help with setting up their terrarium.
Keep in mind that you will need to teach your children to wash their hands after handling their gecko because reptiles tend to carry Salmonella bacteria more frequently than some other species of pets.
Best Pets for Kids Ages 8-11
They may not be your immediate thought when it comes to pets, but rats can be great pets for kids. “Rats are phenomenal animals,” says Dr. Hess. “Rats are generally very loving and bonded to their owners. They’re gentle. They’re a little tougher.” Dr. Hess explains that once kids have a longer attention span, rats can be an ideal pet.
A pet rat can help an older child to “understand that there’s some kind of schedule to their day,” says Dr. Hess. They can add structure and responsibilities that can help children grow to be more thoughtful. For instance, they might have a morning task to feed the rat before going to school.
Pet rats are also affectionate pets that, when socialized, love interactions with their humans. They can show excitement when they sense (sight, smell and sound) their human’s presence, and some will even cuddle. But they also like to have a cage mate, so you should be prepared to have more than one.
When it comes to caring for pet rats, there are many activities that kids can get involved with. Besides helping feed their pet rats pellets and small veggies, kids can replenish water, clean the water bottle and spot-clean the cage.
Kids can help with the mental and physical enrichment of pet rats by setting up mazes for them to explore. They can also create foraging toys and places to hide using toilet paper tubes, which the rats can also chew on.
Rats are very intelligent and can be trained, so your child can actively bond with their pet rat and try to teach them a whole host of tricks.
Dr. Mackey does caution that rats tend to eat everything you give them and can easily become overweight, so you will have to work with your child to ensure you find the right balance between food and exercise.
However, rats tend to only live for about three years, so you will have to be prepared to have a tough conversation with your child if you choose to have a pet rat while they are still very young.
Canaries and Finches
Canaries and finches are ideal pets for kids because they don’t have to be handled a lot. However, they usually prefer the company of others, so you will need to be prepared to have multiple birds. These birds are flock animals and tend to do better when they’re in a group, says Dr. Mackey.
Canaries “can be a little skittish. But if they’re kept happy, they’ll sing, and it’s beautiful,” says Dr. Hess. “Many people appreciate small birds for their beauty.” She explains, “Finches are fun to watch. They’re very active.” But finches will not sing, like the canary, so if you are looking for a quiet bird, finches may be a good option.
Canaries and finches can be great options for kids who would like to observe more than interact with their pets. While, with patience, canaries can be taught to perch on a finger, most finches prefer not to be handled, so your child will have limited opportunities to physically interact with their finches.
Canaries are not the hardiest of pets, either; they “have to be kept safe and away from other pets. They’re fragile,” says Dr. Hess.
Kids can help out with cage cleaning and providing fresh food and water for the bird. Your child can also be responsible for removing the bird cage cover in the mornings, changing the paper at the bottom of the cage and vacuuming around the cage.
Canaries and finches have a long life span—10-15 years in captivity—so you and your child will need to be prepared to provide care for them well into their teen years.
Everyone has heard about guinea pigs as pets, and some even consider them to be good class pets. Guinea pigs are popular pets for kids because of their size and manageable care requirements. “They’re pretty calm. They’re adorable,” says Dr. Hess. “They’re not high maintenance. They’re fairly hardy.”
Guinea pigs generally enjoy being around humans and will actively engage and interact with you. They are willing to sit calmly in a child’s lap and will even vocalize their excitement when their favorite human is around.
There are also a wide variety of guinea pig breeds to choose from, so your family can find one that fits what you are all looking for in a pet.
If your child can handle additional responsibility, you can consider getting a long-haired guinea pig; they can help with brushing the guinea pig and making sure the hair doesn’t get matted, says Dr. Hess. Children can also actively participate in keeping the cage tidy and providing the guinea pig with fresh hay, salad and pellets.
“Guinea pigs are really social animals. They do better when there’s more than one,” says Dr. Mackey. But if you get another guinea pig, that’s twice the cage space and twice the expense.
Guinea pigs tend to live 5-7 years, so they are an option if you are looking for a moderate commitment in terms of life span.
Best Pets for Kids Ages 12-15
Rabbits can be great pets for kids, but you have to be prepared to be very involved in your rabbit’s care.
“They’ve very, very loving,” says Dr. Hess. “They live a long time. They can be very bonded to their owners. They can be gentle.”
Both Dr. Mackey and Dr. Hess point out that rabbits can startle easily and can be very fragile; they can bite and jump and injure themselves, so they should only be handled by a child with a calm demeanor.
Despite their reputation as low-maintenance starter pets, rabbits are actually better suited for older children that understand how to be responsible with the care of their pet. They are very social creatures that crave attention from their owners and will require a significant time and care commitment.
If your family is ready to take on the care of a rabbit, then you will find that they make great companions. They are curious and playful and will provide your child with a loving pet that enjoys their company.
Since these pets are best for older children, your child can be actively involved in their care. They can ensure the litter box is cleaned, provide the rabbit with fresh hay, replace paper-based bedding and clean their cages. They can also help you pick out vegetables for your rabbit.
Rabbits also need to spend time out of their cages, so you can use this as an opportunity to bond with your child as you both watch the rabbit explore his surroundings safely.
Keep in mind that rabbits could potentially be attacked or harmed by other animals and will probably need to be kept in their own separate space.
Domestic rabbits tend to live 8-12 years, so they will be long-term commitments for your family.
Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs, while common, are major commitments when it comes to time, money and responsibility.
When children are taught how to properly interact with cats and dogs, they can play a very active role in the care of these pets. “They understand responsibilities and consequences. They have to participate in the care. That’s part of the deal,” says Dr. Hess. “Picking up dog poop isn’t so much fun. It’s something that you have to do.”
Children can take responsibility for a variety of care tasks for a pet dog or cat. Younger kids can give fresh food and water and wash towels and bedding, and tweens and teens can take dogs out on walks, change the cat litter, and even help out with teeth brushing.
Dogs and cats can live to be well over 10 years old (some for 20 years or even more), so they are long-term commitments.
If you have older children who are looking for a more unique pet, consider a bearded dragon. According to Dr. Mackey, bearded dragons are the “world’s greatest lizards… because they’re fairly hardy [and] because they don’t bite often. I won’t say that they won’t, but they don’t, typically.”
Bearded dragons are reptiles that enjoy being handled and held, so if your child is looking for a reptile that they can actively engage with, they are a great option.
In terms of responsibilities, your older child can take an active role in the care of their bearded dragon, from feeding and cleaning to socialization and enrichment.
One thing to keep in mind is that the housing requirements for a bearded dragon’s well-being are a bit more intricate. They require special UV lighting and temperature controls, and sometimes live feedings.
But luckily, your older child can help with changing the bulbs before they burn out, measuring the temperature of the cage (which needs to be kept at specific levels) and feeding insects to your bearded dragon.
Be aware that bearded dragons tend to be more expensive to care for than other pets, due in part to the insect diet and special lighting, says Dr. Mackey.
Bearded dragons tend to live 5-8 years but can live to be up to 10 years old when provided with optimal care.
Both vets praised corn snakes as being easy to handle and a good option for a family prepared to care for a pet snake. “Corn snakes can be very gentle,” says Dr. Hess.
The corn snake can grow to be 2.5-5 feet, so you will need to adjust their terrarium size as they grow. They are great starter reptiles for older children because they do not mind being handled. They do require rodents as food, but they should be freshly deceased or frozen, because live mice can injure your pet snake.
They’re also relatively low-maintenance pets when it comes to daily chores. However, because they have special care requirements, they are best suited for older children.
With all reptiles, you’ll want to check the humidity and temperature of the cage and keep the space clean—all activities your older child can assist with. Your child can also take an active role in the layout of the cage and the accessories it contains.
Corn snakes have a life span of 5-10 years, so they are also long-term commitments.
Dr. Hess prefers Greek tortoises to other types of turtles, tortoises and terrapins because they’re small and eat vegetables.
Greek tortoises will grow to be about 5-8 inches, and they should be kept in a large naturalistic enclosure made of plywood (this helps them to learn their boundaries, whereas glass and plastic will have them constantly trying to escape).
When it comes to the care of your tortoise, you will want to work with your veterinarian to meet their individual needs and discuss their nutritional requirements.
Your kids can help out with checking the temperature, humidity, light and heat inside the enclosure. Kids can also cut vegetables, administer vitamins and replenish water dishes.
“Some of the reptiles are great for kids on the spectrum because they’re slow-moving and they’re quiet and they’re not overstimulating. And, there are plenty of detail-oriented children who can participate in care by keeping track of daily feedings,” says Dr. Hess.
Greek tortoises do not particularly care for being held, so they are a great pet for kids that like to watch and observe their pets go about their business. However, this does not mean they will not interact with you. They are known to be very responsive and interactive. They will approach their caretakers for food and will be friendly and interactive.
Greek tortoises have an extremely long life span—in many cases living for over 20 years—So they will be lifelong commitments.
By: Teresa Traverse
Featured Image: iStock.com/akrp
Pet for a child - who to choose?Pet for a child - who to choose?
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A pet for a child - who to choose? nine0003
All articles in the category Psychology
At preschool age, most children dream of having their own pet. They “order” a furry friend to Santa Claus, ask their relatives as a birthday present, try to take home every kitten or puppy they meet on the street. At some point, parents decide to encourage the baby's desire, but they immediately wonder what kind of pet to choose for a preschool child so that he can cope with the care and care of a pet. nine0003
Making an informed choice
Parents and children should understand that a pet is not a toy, but a living creature that requires no less attention than all other family members. For him, you need to create comfortable conditions, and not only equip your own corner, but also provide the necessary care. Naturally, responsibility will have to be distributed among family members, because. A preschooler is unlikely to be able to "educate" a pet on their own.
As for choosing a pet, the following options are possible:
- Cats . They are not very whimsical in terms of care - they are quite clean, and wash themselves, they do not require daily walking. However, cats are wayward in nature, especially when it comes to certain specific breeds, such as Siamese or British cats. The kid needs to be sure to explain the rules of behavior when communicating with these pets and demonstrate them by his own example. In general, cats get along quite well with preschoolers - they allow themselves to be stroked and participate in joint games. nine0039
- Dogs . They are friendly, active and very smart pets that almost all children dream of. Naturally, dogs show their best qualities only after training, so it is very important to go with a new pet to training sessions with cynologists. In addition, dogs need to be walked daily, and this can quickly get boring for a little animal lover. Be prepared for the fact that most of the care of the pet will fall on the shoulders of the parents.
- Rodents . If a child asks to have an animal, but cats and dogs, for one reason or another, do not seem to be the most rational option, you can opt for domestic rodents. Hamster, guinea pig, domestic rat, rabbit - all these animals are quite suitable for families with preschool children. The best option, however, would be a guinea pig - a friendly, intelligent and unpretentious rodent. You can also get a rat, but not everyone likes their appearance. Hamsters often bite and are predominantly nocturnal. As for rabbits, they require a large cage and careful care that preschoolers may not be able to provide. nine0039
- Fish. It would seem that a kid of any age can easily cope with such pets. However, aquarium care cannot be called simple - you need to monitor the purity of the water, feed the fish on time, provide the necessary aeration and lighting. If you decide to start an aquarium for a preschooler, it is better to buy one or more unpretentious goldfish and put them in a small aquarium.
- Birds. For toddlers, birds are unlikely to be the preferred pet option. It is difficult to play with them, and care for the cells should be regular. The birds themselves are also not very comfortable in families with small children - the kids are very active and noisy, which makes the birds worry and worry. If the child himself wanted to get a bird, the choice should be made on budgerigars, because. they are the least whimsical. nine0039
- Reptiles. Some children show an increased interest in "exotic" pets such as snakes, lizards, turtles. Not all parents agree to such an unusual neighborhood, especially given the need to create certain conditions for reptiles to live. Caring for such pets requires responsibility not only from children, but also from other family members.
Here are a few more tips about choosing a pet that you might find useful:
- Any, even the most seemingly unpretentious pet requires regular and thorough care. Preschool children are unlikely to cope with all the responsibilities, so the help of adults will be simply necessary. If you cannot provide the pet with proper attention, you should not start it.
- It is not uncommon for children to bring home homeless animals, often malnourished and requiring veterinarian care. Do not scold the baby and do not drive away the unexpected "guest". Try to help the animal as much as possible, and then place it in good and caring hands. Such behavior will teach the child to empathize and help the younger brothers. nine0039
- Before you bring your pet home, be sure to find out if your baby is allergic to animal hair and saliva.
When choosing a pet, you need to take into account a number of other important factors: the average life expectancy of the animal, the amount of free time adults have, the area of the apartment, financial resources and individual characteristics of the child. And remember that pets become full-fledged members of the family, so their appearance should be a conscious and joint decision. nine0003
Does your family have a pet? How responsible is the child in caring for him? What do you think is the best animal for families with preschoolers?
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Pets for children - what kind of pet to get a child?
Sooner or later, every child asks his parents to get a pet. He really wants to have at home a living being capable of interaction, and not just a toy. The motives are clear and good. But parents are immediately presented with the problems and difficulties that the pet will bring with it. After all, you will have to purchase everything you need for him, feed, clean, walk, treat in case of illness.
Should I go for it? What animals are suitable for children? How do you teach kids to be responsible with pets? nine0003
Whether a child needs a pet: pros and cons
To make such a responsible decision as purchasing a pet, you need to weigh all the pros and cons well. We list the factors that may influence your choice.
- Education of responsibility, compassion, empathy, communication skills . The animal needs daily care. Children can and should be involved in this from a very young age. The child learns to understand that this is a living being that needs food and water, cleaning the cage, walking. nine0039
- The child will learn to control his negative emotions and not harm living beings . When playing with animals, children can hurt them. The cat or dog immediately responds to this - they leave, scratch, bite the offender, and the game ends. Such behavior of the animal and the explanations of adults contribute to the development of the ability to empathize, sympathize, and restrain. It will be much easier for children to understand the feelings of other people, to build relationships with them. Interacting with an animal, children learn to better understand another, to be attentive and sensitive to him. nine0039
- Animals reduce anxiety and stress . Studies show that the level of anxiety and anxiety in children with pets is lower. This is due to a decrease in the production of the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in the production of the "love hormone" oxytocin. An animal can be hugged, complained, it will “listen” and will not criticize. This is very necessary for children. Communication with animals is often used in the treatment of children with developmental disorders, such as autism. In general, the presence of animals in the house reduces tension and stress for all family members, brings a lot of positive emotions, which improves the quality of life. nine0039
- Increasing physical activity . Children, playing with animals, move a lot, which is always beneficial. This is especially true for dogs. They need to be walked daily, they love to run, jump, play. Thus, daily physical activity will enter into your life. According to statistics, dog owners take 25% more steps per day than non-dog owners.
- Discovering new opportunities . Pet owner communities are interest clubs that include people of all ages. Exhibitions and competitions are held. Teenage children can already take part in them with their pets. This is a great chance to make new friends who share the same interests. nine0039
Possible problems and difficulties:
- Additional dirt in the house, the need for frequent cleaning . Maintaining perfect cleanliness in a house where animals live is impossible. Yes, you will have to clean up much more often, but sterility will not be achieved.
- Infections . Pets can infect humans with the most dangerous disease - rabies. To avoid this, animals must be regularly vaccinated. Cat scratches can cause fever, which is caused by a certain bacterium. The disease is not dangerous, but unpleasant. nine0039
- Helminthiasis . Helminth eggs are easily transmitted from pets to humans. And even if a cat or dog does not walk on the street, the risk of helminths in them is high. Animals can become infected by eating raw meat, fish, eggs. Often the eggs of worms are brought into the house by a person on dirty shoes. Be sure to deworm animals twice a year.
- Ringworm . It is a fungal infection transmitted from pets to humans. Children, whose immunity is still weak, are especially susceptible. Deprive an unpleasant disease, but well treatable. nine0039
- Birds can infect humans with ornithosis — a type of chlamydia.
- Allergy . Common problem. Moreover, an allergic reaction may appear for the first time when purchasing an animal, even if this has never been observed before. And it is not always possible to remove allergic manifestations by medication. Then it remains only to find a new home for the animal. And it will be stressful for everyone - for the animal, children and adults.
Don't be too afraid of animal-borne diseases. You just need to be responsible for your pet. By following the rules of hygiene and timely preventive treatments, you can avoid many problems. nine0003
We also do not recommend purchasing an animal for a child if at least one family member is categorically against it. We need to come to a reasonable compromise. Perhaps the solution would be to choose another animal.
What to look for when choosing a pet
Be sure to consider all the factors:
- Housing size . In a small apartment, for example, it will not be possible to get a large dog. Cats also need free space, especially if they do not walk outside. nine0039
- All the pros and cons of the selected animal . Are you ready to put up with the noise and flying feathers of birds, the fur of cats and dogs? Is frequent cleaning intimidating, or is it better to choose someone less whimsical? Do you like contact and intelligent animals, or is the contemplation of silent fish more attractive?
- Allergy of a family member . Often there is an allergy to animal hair. Then you have to choose, for example, fish, turtle.
- Financial opportunities . Animal food, cages, aquariums, terrariums, accessories and toys, veterinary services if necessary - all this costs money. Some animals are definitely cheaper than others.
Remember that the choice is always up to the adult. Even if the child begs to take the animal and promises to take care of it, you need to understand that he is simply not able to realize all the responsibility and possible problems yet.
Best pets for kids
Experts do not recommend getting a dog for a child under 2 years old. Toddlers can cause harm to a puppy through negligence. But for a child of 4-5 years old, it is already easy to explain the rules of behavior with animals. From the age of 7, children may well take on some of the responsibilities for caring for a pet.
There are many breeds of dogs. Small, medium and large breeds have their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of interacting with children. If it is planned that the child will walk the pet on his own, then the weight of the animal should not exceed his own. With large animals, such walks will be impossible. Although many dogs of large breeds patronize children. nine0003
But small animals often claim the place of a beloved baby in a family. And this is fraught with competition with children and jealousy. Therefore, the best choice is medium-sized dogs. But be sure to take into account the characteristics of a particular breed.
The best breeds for children include : cheerful and sociable Labradors, smart and good-natured collies, contact and smart poodles, balanced Cocker Spaniels, hardy Airedales, sociable Beagles, affectionate Pugs. nine0003
Families with children are not recommended to have dogs of the following breeds : Doberman, Husky, Alabai, Chihuahua, Pekingese, Corgi, Akita Inu, Dalmatians. These animals may be too aggressive or compete with children.
- dogs are smart and sociable, they can become real friends for children;
- walking with dogs in the open air will become a part of daily life;
- dogs live long, more than 10 years.
- dogs are difficult to care for, they need special food, walks - this falls on the shoulders of parents;
- you need to deal with raising a dog, otherwise you risk getting not a family member, but a naughty and aggressive dog that will cause a lot of problems.
These wayward and freedom-loving animals are not at all like dogs. Cats do not show much love for children and rather tolerate them. But, if you decide to have a kitten for your child, do not give up this idea. Cats are also amenable to education, you can influence their habits. And teach your child to be careful when dealing with a pet. nine0003
The nature of cats, like dogs, is determined by their breed. For a child, playful and curious Abyssinians, kind and affectionate ragdolls, sociable Canadian sphinxes, affectionate and active oriental cats are suitable. Maine Coons also tend to be kind to children. Independent Britons, unbalanced, albeit interesting, Siamese cats are not suitable for kids.
- cats require much less attention than dogs, they do not need to be walked daily; nine0039
- keeping a cat is cheaper than keeping a dog.
- cats are not as sociable as dogs, not everyone likes their independent character;
- cat training will not work, and you may have to put up with some of the features of their
- even the kindest cat can scratch a child, you need to be careful with them.
You can give your child a kitten after 4-5 years, when the baby can already follow the rules of behavior with the animal. It is a completely different matter when a baby appears in a family where an adult cat lives. In this case, on the contrary, it is necessary to introduce the animal to a new family member. And try to make sure that the cat or cat is not jealous, that is, continue to pay attention to him or her. nine0003
A modern aquarium with fish is an interior decoration. Children love to watch aquatic life. It disciplines, develops mindfulness, instills interest in wildlife. But preschoolers and younger students cannot cope with the care of the aquarium on their own. This requires special knowledge and skills. But with the support of adults, an aquarium can be purchased for a child of any age.
- contemplation of the aquarium relaxes and pacifies, which is especially useful for hyperactive and anxious children; nine0039
- daily maintenance of the aquarium does not take much time;
- Aquarium is a living biology guide that clearly demonstrates the life of aquatic life.
- expensive equipment, especially if the aquarium is large;
- running aeration and filtration systems create constant noise;
- Aquarium care requires the participation of an adult.
A parrot or a canary is not a puppy or kitten that can be stroked, squeezed and played with. Birds require careful attitude and understanding of their nature. This needs to be explained to the parents. If you haven't had birds before, a budgerigar is the best choice to start with. These are cheerful and unpretentious birds. The budgerigar is easy to tame and teach to talk. This delights the children. Canaries sing beautifully and melodiously. nine0003
You can get a bird for a child from 5 years old. From this age, children can already take responsibility for themselves, and caring for a parrot is not difficult. For a bird, you need to purchase a spacious cage equipped with perches, ladders, a mirror, and toys. A nesting house is needed only if there are two birds - a male and a female. Food for birds - grain mixtures, sometimes fresh vegetables, fruits.
- low maintenance;
- is easy to tame. nine0039
- noise - birds are noisy creatures, chirping and whistling can be annoying;
- feathers and debris - always in the cage and around, you will have to clean it daily.
Hamsters are funny and cute animals. There are two common varieties: Dzungarian and Syrian. Dzungaria are small, up to 5 cm tall and weighing up to 45 g. They have a characteristic coloration with a dark stripe on the back. And the length of Syrian hamsters reaches 18 cm, weight - up to 150 g. Their wool can be long or short, the colors are varied. nine0003
All hamsters are nocturnal. They sleep during the day and are active at night. Djungarian hamsters are more active. Therefore, a cage for them is taken at least 50x30x30 cm in size, with frequent rods. For Syrian hamsters, a smaller house is also suitable. The cage for any hamster should be spacious, but low. These animals move on the ground, and do not conquer the heights.
The cage must have a running wheel. Solid plastic is better than wire mesh, so that hamsters do not get tangled in their paws. Hamsters are territorial animals, so it's best to keep them alone. Food for hamsters - grain mixtures, fresh vegetables, cereals, boiled eggs. nine0003
- unpretentious, easy maintenance;
- are funny and interesting to watch.
- it is better not to start a pair of male and female for a child, hamsters breed very quickly and the female can eat cubs;
- are noisy at night;
- live only 2-3 years.
Rats are very smart, they are easily tamed and even recognize their owner. Their lack of smell, because of which the cage will have to be washed very often. But Guinea pigs are favorites of children. They are quite large and inactive, can sit on their hands and do not tend to run away. They are so nice to stroke on the fur.
Hamsters and rats are not suitable for very young children who cannot yet handle them carefully. It is better to start them for a child older than 4-5 years. But younger children can also communicate with a guinea pig.
At home, you can keep land and water turtles. It is easier to take care of land animals and they have a more docile nature. For aquatic turtles, you will have to equip an aquaterrarium in which the turtle can both swim and be on land. Turtles feed on special food, as well as greens, vegetables and fruits. nine0003
- turtles are unusual, interesting to watch, they are not capable of harming a child;
- turtles live for a long time - up to 50 years!
- special organization of housing for turtles - in a terrarium or aquaterrarium a constant level of temperature, humidity, illumination is maintained;
- turtles need hibernation, the conditions for which are very difficult to create at home.
You can get a turtle for a child of any age. But you need to understand that a preschooler will not be able to fully care for this animal. The help and supervision of an adult is required.
These cute furry animals are very affectionate and almost never bite. They are nocturnal, so they are not active during the day. To keep chinchillas, a spacious cage or showcase with a width of at least 100 cm is required. Several tiers with shelves, ladders, a house, a hammock, a feeder, and a drinker should be arranged in it. The bottom is covered with sawdust bedding. Chinchillas are herbivores, their diet consists of plant-based feed. nine0003
- chinchillas are tame, they are pleasant to stroke, they do not bite if you do not hurt them and do not frighten them;
- chinchillas live for a long time - 15-20 years.
- a cage for chinchillas needs a very large one, its cost is high;
- cage takes up a lot of space in the house.
Young children cannot take care of a chinchilla on their own. This will require the help of adults. nine0003
There are many breeds of decorative rabbits - fluffy and smooth-haired, with straight and hanging ears, of various colors. There are no particular difficulties in their maintenance and feeding, so you can buy a cute and fluffy rabbit for a child from the age of 4. But choose a young animal that is easy to tame. Then the rabbit will become a sociable and sweet pet. Rabbits require a spacious cage, on the bottom of which wood filler is poured. But you can let these animals go for a walk in the apartment and even teach them to go to the tray, because they are clean. Rabbits feed mainly on plant foods. nine0003
- low maintenance;
- animals are tame and non-aggressive;
- rabbits live 8-9 years.
- for rabbit walks in the apartment, you will have to re-equip all places that are dangerous for him;
- a slight but unpleasant odor that will have to be dealt with by frequent cleaning;
- with a lack of communication and attention, the rabbit will grow up wild and untamed.
Families with small children should not get a ferret. These animals have sharp teeth and claws, they can strongly bite and scratch the baby, who perceives pets as a toy. And if a cat or dog can tolerate even the unpleasant actions of a child, then a ferret often reacts aggressively. But for children over 6-7 years old, the ferret is a completely safe pet. Ferrets are very interesting, curious and smart, you can walk with them on a leash along the street. You can keep a ferret at home without a cage, but you need to equip a toilet case tray. nine0003
- ferrets are playful and sociable, have high intelligence, can be trained;
- beautiful appearance, soft and fluffy coat;
- are easily tamed, responsive to affection.
- ferret hair has a specific musky smell;
- ferrets are especially active in the evening and at night;
- these animals are very mobile and will not suit those who dreamed of a calm animal and are not ready to endure some inconvenience. nine0039
Definitely, a hedgehog is not the best pet for a child. The body of this animal is covered with sharp needles, so holding it on the handles is problematic. And just watching the animal is not interesting for many children. Hedgehogs need a spacious cage with a running wheel, feeders and a drinker, a house. Hedgehogs are active at night. They are not social and for the house it is enough to purchase one animal, he will feel comfortable.
- unusual and even exotic pet;
- hedgehogs are quite unpretentious in maintenance and care.
- sharp needles;
- nocturnal lifestyle.
How to teach a child to take care of a pet?
Even before purchasing the chosen animal, it is necessary to acquaint the child with its features. Together, study what the animal eats, what lifestyle it leads, what it likes and dislikes, what kind of housing is required.