Best Pet Picks for Kids
Best Pet Picks for Kids
Pets are great for kids and every child should have a pet at some point in their childhood. Not only do they make great friends but they also teach a child life lessons of care and responsibility.
A child's first pet will depend a lot on their age and level of maturity, so as a parent, you will need to decide what level of responsibility your child can handle, unless you want to end up doing all the work. In order to help make that decision easier, we have compiled a list of the 6 best pets for kids, with the list starting from the easiest pet to care from and going through to more advanced.
One of the lower maintenance and cheaper pets can be fish. In particular, the guppy is a great starter for kids. Guppies are a very attractive fish and are not only cheap but easy to maintain. Upto 5 guppies can be kept in a 10 gallon tank with the ideal temperature ranging from 72 – 80 degrees fahrenheit. Guppies also breed quite easily (if the temperature is nice and warm) and they give birth to live young. It can be quite exciting for a child to find new fish in their tank. The complete setup including: 2 guppies, tank, filter and food could be achieved for under $100.
The Hermit Crab is another great low maintenance pet that can be fun for kids. While the Hermit Crab is an introvert by nature, it is a step up from fish as there is more interaction with your child and Hermit Crabs can be tamed and handled.
Caring for Hermit Crabs is pretty simple but they do require daily watering and feeding. Hermit Crabs must be watered daily so that they don't dry out and the gravel in their tank should be changed about once a month. Aside from that, just make sure that larger shells are kept in the tank, because as Hermit Crabs grow, they need to move house. The complete setup for a Hermit Crab would be somewhere in the range of $60 - $80.
Most people may be apprehensive when the word "rat" is mentioned, but domestic rats are truly great pets. Rats are very smart, they are friendly and they also have a lot of character and affection. Rats are easy to handle, and children can take them out of their cage and play with them pretty much anytime. Just be careful when letting a pet rat run loose in the house, as they have been known to chew through couches and other items of furniture. Don't overlook rats because of the bad rep their street counterparts may have. A rat, cage, water bottle and toys can be purchased for under $100.
If your child wants a bird as a first pet then one of the best options to consider is the Budgie. Budgies are great companions, they are a talkative and social bird. If properly taught, they will perch on their owners hand and they can learn many different words (patience is required).
Budgies do require more maintenance than the pets mentioned thus far. It is important that their cage is kept clean at all times or they can get sick. Getting setup with a budgie will set you back somewhere between $100 - $200.
Cats get into the more high maintenance pet category, but they are one of the best pets for children. While they are somewhat solitary and self sufficient animals, they will still socialise and can be very affectionate at times. As a kitten however, they are extremely playful and your child will enjoy it tremendously. If you feel your child is ready to handle the responsibility of changing kitty litter and daily feeding, then a cat will be worth considering. They are much more costly than the pets previously mentioned and will require a long term commitment.
A dog is probably the single best pet that your child could own. They are great companions but do require a lot more care than any of the previously mentioned pets. Dogs require much more attention than cats and in particular they require: exercise, feeding, washing, discipline and cleaning up after. Buying a dog as a pet should not be taken lightly and should only be done if you think your child is ready and the family is ready as responsibility for the dog will generally end up with the parents and the child.
Some of the breeds known to be good with children include the following: Mastiff Boxer, Newfoundland, Boston Terriers, Bichon Frise, Beagles, standard Poodles, Pugs, Labrador Retrievers, Samoyed, Springer Spaniel, Irish Setter, Foxhound, English Setter, Siberian Husky, Keeshond, Gordon Setter, Bulldogs. http://www.pethandbook.com
This article was posted on November 26, 2005