Owning a pet is a childhood dream for most people. Life feels better with a trusted companion by your side. They provide an opportunity for children to learn about responsibility and care. Studies have shown that children with pets tend to have a higher immune system than those who grow up having none.
It, however, can be difficult to choose the perfect animal companion for your child. Cats and dogs are the most common pets but there are other choices for you. These animals can be compact, easy to take care of and do not need a lot of attention when deciding on a pet for your kid; the whole family must make the decision.
If you happen to be in the market for small pets for your children that require minimal interaction and are enjoyable to watch, you first have to do extensive research to ensure you find the right fit for your family. Some of these small pets like hamsters and guinea pigs may look similar but they have different needs, have unique characteristics, and interact with kids differently.
Some people are deathly allergic to some of the pets, so you must find out if any of your family members have any allergies as well. You also have to make sure that your living situation is ideal enough to support and care for a pet. We have compiled a list of some of the best small pets for kids to help you narrow down your search.
Parakeets are great for kids aged five and above. These little birds feature colorful feathers that are amazing to look at. With proper training of both the parakeets and the child, they can be gentle creatures that are easy to handle. It is hard not to fall in love with their amazing personality. These beautiful birds can even mimic words and songs from their owners.
A parakeet can live up to 10 years of age, so you have to be ready to commit when you buy one. These birds are also very social; you should not leave them alone for many hours on end. If it is unavoidable, consider buying another parakeet to keep the bird’s company.
Fish can provide great entertainment for children of all ages. Aquatic pets can be very appealing to a kid; however, they require some expensive and sometimes complicated setups. The best kinds of fish for a young kid are the beta fish; they are a simple species that feature vibrant colors that are easy on the eyes. These kinds of fish are resilient and with the proper care and a good environment, they can live up to three years of age.
While most people would cringe at the idea of getting a rat for their kids, these animals are social and intelligent animals that make great pets for kids ages 8 and above. Rats are excellent pets due to their relatively larger size and an easy to get demeanor. If you opt to have a rat as a pet, you have to ensure that your kids have self-restraint and good motor control; this is to ensure the kid does not accidentally drop the rat, squeeze it hard, or scare it into biting the kid. If you provide the rat a conducive and nurturing environment, the kids can easily get attached to the rat more than you thought possible can. These little rodents are generally quiet and can even learn tricks. They are sometimes even cleaner than a human child is.
Hamsters are some of the most popular pets to keep. They are easy to get and simple to care for. Experts, however, recommend that you wait your child is at least 8 years and above before, you get them a hamster. This is because these creatures have a small stature, which makes them quite fragile especially in the hands of a kid. Hamsters are nocturnal creatures, which sleep during the day and stay up at night. This makes them especially irritable when a child tries to wake them up for some playtime. With the proper care and environment, these animals can live up to three years old. They are generally solitary animals but they sometimes enjoy the company of their owners.
Finches and Canaries
If your child is the kind of person that enjoys bird watching, Finches and Canaries can be a great choice for a pet. These birds are a great source of entertainment for kids of all ages. They are fun to watch and are typically animals that provide hands-off pet experience. This is because these creatures are delicate and thus should be handled with great caution.
These birds make good pets four young kids because they are beautiful and make soothing sounds with their soft chatter and chirps. They are generally social animals so you have to get more than one bird for companionship. Finches and Canaries require a large cage where you can provide them with toys to keep them happy. Both birds can learn to mimic human sounds though their songs are equally as entertaining.
Rabbits are a popular option for pets for many families. Their cute and cuddly demeanor entices children between the age of 8 years and above. However, this venture requires a lot of commitment because bunnies can live for a very long time. They also need attention especially when it comes to grooming for rabbits that have a long fur coat.
These fluffy animals are very social species, so you should consider having more than one rabbit for the sake of companionship. You should also be cautious when selecting the gender of the rabbit, as they reproduce rapidly. Rabbits are great pets for children over the age of 10 because they can be trusted to be gentle with the animal. They can get aggressive when startled and could end up scratching, biting, or even kicking back at the child. Contrary to popular belief, bunnies are not great at cuddling, which often leads to disappointment.
These small creatures make great pets for children of all ages. These cute animals are generally comfortable and even enjoy being handled by their human owners. Like many other small pets, they are also very interactive and social animals, so they require at least another kind of their species to live contended life.
Guinea pigs are great first pets because they can live up to years of age. Sometimes kids may lose interest in the guinea pigs as they grow older and their priorities change, hence as a parent, you should be prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for these animals when the time arrives. As much as they are fun to keep around the house, these animals need a lot of care and attention. You have to buy vegetables and fruits to supplement their diet as well as ensure they have plenty of space to exercise their tiny little bodies.
Many at times, people may easily confuse gerbils to a hamster. However, these animals are generally bigger than a hamster and make great pets for children of all ages. Just like with hamsters and guinea pigs, gerbils are social animals and require the company of another of their kind. Consider getting a same-sex companion to prevent overbreeding.
These small animals are also fastidiously clean, this makes them easy to care for and maintain. Gerbils are burrowing animals. They provide great entertainment as you watch them try to dig through corners as they try to hide during playtime with your kids.
However, these creatures are gentle species and can be very hard for younger kids to hold without squeezing too hard on their feeble bodies. Hence, if you want to get a pet for your child to hold and cuddle, they may not be the best option for your child. Gerbils are also active at any time of the day and make great pets for the curios kind of child. They can live up to 4 years of age.
Small mice have always fascinated children with their lively personalities and character. They provide entertainment to children when they are dashing all around their cage or around your house if they happen to sneak out. Just like with the other pets, mice are generally social creatures and crave for companionship from another of their kind. You, however, should be very careful about how you select their genders.
These cute little creatures can live up to 3 years and are ideal as a kid’s first pet. They are also cheap and easy to obtain but you have to ensure that you can provide a great setup for their home. Just like with the Gerbils, you also need to provide plenty of space in their cages for them to exercise.
Overall, as you choose a pet for your kids, remember to discuss the safety of both the child and the pet depending on the kid’s level of understanding. The choice of a pet should satisfy the child’s needs while respecting the parent’s time, energy, and finances. Otherwise, let your child enjoy their preferred pets.