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10 Best Pets for Children

Allowing your children to have pets starting at an early age is a great way to teach them how to handle responsibility. More than that, children who grow up taking care of at least one pet tend to adopt a more caring attitude towards animals and other people. It is easy to see why having pets around is an important part of raising children.

On the other hand, having pets may turn out to be more difficult than it may seem; that is, if you do not provide the necessary guidance needed by your children. More so, it is imperative that you choose the right pet/s for your children. Take a look at the animals best suited to be children’s pets.

Hamsters


Hamsters are cute and cuddly, and are very easy to take care of. They are actually being touted as the ‘perfect pet’ for children. However, you have to understand that this might not always be the case. On the upside, they are small and do not need a lot of space. They are also very sociable – once they get used to being handled.

That being said, you ought to know the downsides of owning a pet hamster. One, hamsters are nocturnal. That means your children will not be able to play much with them during the day. Two, since they are quite small, very young children might end up injuring them. As such, it is better to give pet hamsters to children who can understand that they need to handle the animal with care. Hamsters can live up to two years.

Guinea pigs


Some people actually get confused when it comes to hamsters and guinea pigs, but yes, they are two different creatures. If you compare hamsters and guinea pigs, the latter serve as better pets in fact. This is because guinea pigs are a bit bigger than hamsters, making them less fragile. More so, they are actually more sociable than hamsters. These animals also live longer, from four to seven years. In short, if you want a cuddly little critter for your cuddly little kid, go for the guinea pig instead of the hamster.

The downside is that you’ll need a slightly bigger cage for a guinea pig. Still, it doesn’t have to be so large that you’ll need to build a bigger house just to make room for it. Another important reminder – make sure that you give your guinea pig regular doses of vitamin C, as this is an important part of their diet.

Fancy mice


If your child seems to have a rodent fixation, then try fancy mice or fancy rats. If you haven’t watched Ratatouille, then maybe you should. It will definitely help you change your perception of these creatures. Why should you even consider rats/mice as pets for the kids?

One, they are very sociable – sweet, actually. People who have owned fancy rats/mice swear that they actually bond with their owners. More than being sociable, they actually form a relationship with humans! That being said, you ought to know that they do better with at least one companion, so don’t make the mistake of getting just one. These creatures can live up to three years.

Rabbits


Rabbits can be fun pets for kids. They are cute – how can you resist that forever-twitching nose? A lot of children gravitate towards rabbits when it comes to choosing pets, so be ready to take one home. You can keep a rabbit in a hutch outdoors, although there are hutches that can be kept indoors now. You do need to give your pet rabbit lots of space for exercise, though. Another word of caution: they sometimes bite. Rabbits live up to seven years.

Goldfish


Let’s move on to a totally different kind of animal. Children love fish – remember Finding Nemo? Just make sure that you teach your children how NOT to be like that little girl in the movie!

Goldfish are particularly good for children as they are very low maintenance. You don’t even really need to set up a high tech aquarium to keep pet goldfish. Just make sure that you clean the bowl when necessary and to keep at least two goldfish – they like company. Goldfish can live up to 25 years, would you believe that?

Ants


Um, ants? Don’t you keep a can of insect killer in every room in the house just so you won’t see any insects around? Well, I am talking about an ant farm actually. This used to be a popular thing for kids, but not too many children are into them these days. Having an ant farm is very advantageous, though, as you can use it as a teaching tool for organization and hard work. And, as long as the case is sturdy, you’re house should be okay.

Leopard geckos


If you’re child wants something different, consider leopard geckos. This reptile is small, has very interesting skin markings, and is very docile. Children who like reptiles will clap with delight if you give them this pet. Your children can play with them safely, but make sure that they are careful as the tail can come off. It will grow back, but not like the original tail.

Dogs

Of course, dogs have to be in this list! They aren’t called our bestfriends for nothing. Dogs live a long life and are perfect companions for children. They are very sociable and form lasting bonds with their owners. Of course, dogs require much more time and effort from you and your children as compared to all other animals mentioned above. More so, you have to be very careful in choosing the breed that you get as different breeds really have different characteristics, and not all dogs are suitable for children.

Cats

Cats are great pets for children who are older than five. The truth is, in spite of the fact that cats look so cute and cuddly, they do not adjust well to children’s ‘erratic’ behavior. Sudden noises and movements irritate them and they might respond in such a way as to injure your children. The upside to having cats as pets is that they are much easier to take care of as compared to dogs.

Ponies

If you have lots of space (and money!) then you might want to consider getting your children a pony. Ponies live for much longer than all the other animals on this list. They are beautiful animals, and taking care of them will instill a lot of values in your children. The thing is, not everyone has the time, space, and money to take care of ponies. If you have that luxury though, go for it!

Related Questions
    • Pingback: o5 » how to train your hamster not to bite()

    • Pingback: » How to Help Your Child Deal with the Loss of a Pet o5 Recipes for Life()

    • marvin nubwaxer

      RATS. cheap, clean, friendly, intelligent, curious and they don’t live long anyway. The best pet for a six year old by far is a rat, not a puppy, because rats are very low maintenance.

    • http://www.cartoonbaby.net Caleb Likos

      I want a cartoon baby

    • http://www.weird-facts.net weird facts

      I grabbed a couple lines from your website and put it on our site about weird facts, that fine?

    • http://orthopedicdogbeds33.shutterfly.com/21 Alicia Ross

      Good recommendations on dogs. I own an 8 yr old golden retriever and I love him to death. Will come back for sure! .

    • Pingback: » Best fish to buy for Kids o5 Recipes for Life()

    • Jen

      The TickleMe Plant which is now kids favorite plant may end up being kids favorite Pet as well. The leaves instantly close and even the branches droop when Tickled!
      This is real. See video http://www.ticklemeplant.com

    • Jim

      Iris,

      It’s very obvious that you have never owned a pet rat.

    • Christine Eastlund

      Great, now you’ve made me want to get Daggerfall .

    • http://facebook.com//13142536742/dolorawhite dolora

      hi im a concerned parent and i would just like to know how can my children get a monkey. they really want it too bad from me and its killing me that i dont know how to get them as monkey, i have the money for it and they do good work in school. please let me know how i can get the erfect or just a nice monkey this is no joke~ dolora white CA

    • Nicole

      Why aren’t rats on this list? They make MUCH better pets than hamsters. I had hamsters as a kid and they were always mean and kept escaping from their cage. Rats make much better pets because they never bite (unless hurt or threatened)and they actually like to be around humans if you interact with them enough.

    • Alicia

      Rabbits are terrible pets for kids. The kid will be unhappy when the “cute” bunny doesn’t like being held and bites them, the rabbit will be terrified, and they’ll end up dumped. Rabbits prefer the quiet company of a calm person, gentle petting, do not usually like to be picked up. They are also physically fragile. Much better for teens! Do some research instead of advising people to get “cute” pets.

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      hi

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    • Tim

      I love my pet TickleMe Plant. I don’t have to walk it or clean up after it! It is more like a pet then a plant. It really does interact and close its leaves when Ticked. See video.
      http://www.ticklemeplant.com

    • Jacki

      hamsters are acutlly very hard to take care of. There cage needs to be totally emptied and cleaned every weak and depending on the hamster you get it may bite. I had a hanster and it was really hard to take care of. the parents would be doing most of the work because a younger child couldn’t do this and all they would want to do is play with it then slowly lose intrest not a good pet for kids i think’

    • http://skldugfyekirgn.com Taytana

      @Nicole
      They did say rats. Pay more attention to what your reading, stupid.

    • Rachel

      dogs are loyal and all but have very high maintenence you need to walk them potty train them and other stuff but rats are a perfect pet for kids i know rats you may think are gross but you can do fun things like sciednce projects and even make mazes for them and they just need as much care as a hamster but more entertaining and fun

    • Ashly

      Not trying to be rude, but do a simple internet search on goldfish and you will find that they are most certainly NOT good pets for kids. They DO require a tank. Bowls are absolutely the worst place for goldfish and in fact, in many countries, it is illegal to put goldfish in a bowl as it is considered animal abuse. You should look up facts before posting an article like this. They also require airstones unlike other fish such as bettas which are surface breathers. Perhaps a betta would be a better choice as a beginning fish? (Although you should still make sure the tank is big enough).

    • http://recipesforlife Sara

      Hi Im Sara and i think that cats are a good pet becuse they are very playful as kittens, i reccomend u get one today!!!!!!!!!

    • Devon

      Leapord geckos can have a lot of health issues if not cared for right. They are not good for little kids because they can bite and run away by jumping out of your hand. Teenagers are better for them to be owned by.
      My gecko does not like tiny children but has never bitten anyone

    • Ree

      useless article!

    • kate

      Please correct the part about goldfish in a bowl. they need a tank with filtration or they will die soon, not nice for fish or child. also the child should not be able to get to the food unsupervised as they often overfeed for fun, ruining the water.

    • http://cutie cutie

      Hi i really want 2 know how long do hamsters last and how long do gini pigs last??

      Plz some1 reply

    • http://cutie cutie

      some1 answer plz

    • An Expert

      Whoever wrote this article is not a very knowledgeable… sounds more like personal opinion than anything. You can also tell by improper punctuation and grammar in the article. Another reason is, there was absolutely ZERO mention of a pet snake, which is arguably THE lowest maintenance “pet” one can have (so long as it’s not an extic species)…

    • AnimalLov3r

      Hello, I agree with most of the animals but I have had them all and I have found that they are a TON of work! I would suggest getting guppies, hamster or a pet bird. Thanks <3 :)