Last Updated on June 21, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt
If you’ve ever taken a kid to a pet store, then you know that they will want to take every one of the animals home. But, all pets are not right for all kids. Before purchasing a pet for your child, take a look at which ones are most appropriate for them. It can be difficult to know which animals make the right first pets for small kids.
Did you know that pet stores and animal shelters don’t usually allow adoptions at holiday time? The reason? Parents are trying to appease their children with a pet just like they might do with a toy. The problem here is that they don’t always consider what it will take to care for the pet or the fact that the child may lose interest after the first scratch or nip.
Many people return pets after the holidays as evidence of their hasty decision. This can be more traumatizing for the pet than the family.
In order to avoid any of this, it is helpful to know which pets are suitable for small kids. Small kids are immature and don’t always know how to care for an animal. This is where the parent comes in. You will be the one to teach them to handle their new addition.
Pets for Small Kids
Start out with something simple. And, even with pets that are great with kids, don’t leave them unsupervised with their pet.
Fish – Some small kids like to watch their pet in awe and fascination. Fish are perfect of this. Try colorful breeds. Even young children can feed fish. Consider investing in an aquarium to house more than one variety at once.
Turtles or tortoises – The main difference between the two is that turtles live in the water. Because turtles move slowly, kids can keep up with them. Their hard shells make it difficult for kids to squeeze them. And, an aquarium setting gives the pets room to live and kids can watch them eat, sleep and walk around.
Cats – Cats, or rather kittens, are great for homes with kids over the age of five. They are old enough then to be taught how to pet a cat without hurting it. As the cat grows up with the child, they will both know how to interact with each other.
Birds – Birds are social animals. They love to be around the “flock” and that includes young children. The kids can watch the birds and feed them without touching or holding them. Species that are prone to talking will do so even more with kids around.
Rats – They are seriously misunderstood creatures. Because of their intelligence, they can be taught tricks. They don’t mind being held or cuddled by kids. Rats (and mice) are happiest when they are with at least one other of their kind.
Not all pets are compatible with all ages of kids. The ones above work well with young kids who need a more tolerant pet.