If you are like most families in America, your kids probably bug you day in and day out for a pet. Kids love cuddling with animals, and they feel really great when you give them some responsibility and they have a job to do at home. If you're wondering what animal is right for your family, look no further. Here you will get some ideas for finding the right pet.
Dogs are, by far, the most social animal you can get, and that means they require the most responsibility. While it may seem like a great idea to get a dog for your family, consider that your kids will need to be responsible for walking, feeding, and playing with the dog. As children get older, this is often hard to instill in them. With younger children, be cautious because dogs can get rambunctious and hurt children who are smaller than them. Do research on breeds and choose the one that will fit with your family's activity level if you're set on getting a dog.
Cats are less social and require less responsibility than dogs, but there are still jobs the kids can take care of. Cats need to be fed, and the litter box needs to be cleaned. Cats can also be very playful and cuddly, while being gentler to children. Cats are great for families who need a pet that requires less responsibility than a dog.
Smaller, Furry Creatures
Gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits... the list of smaller, furry animals you can welcome into your home goes on and on. These animals require cages that need to be cleaned, and regular feeding and exercise, just like any animal. These smaller animals are often good gateway animals to see if your children can be responsible for taking care of larger animals like cats and dogs. They can clean cages and provide food for these animals as a start toward a larger animal with more responsibility.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians such as lizards and frogs can provide the same training and joy as smaller animals. They also need to be fed and have cages or aquariums that need to be cleaned, but can be great pets for children or families with allergies. There are also lots of kids that are interested in scaly animals, and there is no better learning experience for them than to see the animal up close and personal. These animals also provide great excuses to check out books from the library to learn about them and their counterparts. Find out what they eat, how they move, what kind of habitat they live in and learn as much as you can with your child. The possibilities are endless. However, be sure your child knows to keep the lid on the cage, because waking up in the middle of the night to find your child's snake crawling across your bedroom floor would not be pleasant.
Fish are fascinating creatures. Your kids will probably tell you that they are boring pets because you can't play with them or pet them, but having fish is a great way to learn about the ocean, rivers, and other bodies of water as well as the multitude of different types of fish. Children have to feed the fish on a regular schedule, and not feed them too much or else they will be unhealthy. They can also learn how to clean the tank and provide a healthy environment for their finned companions.