Finding the right first pet for your child is going to be an exciting and crucial time in your child’s development. This is an opportunity to teach responsibility and taking care of another living being but it is important to gage the type of responsibility your child can handle and that means deciding the right kind of pet. What kinds of animal companions make for great first pets for children?
Here is a quick reference guide below:
• Small animals. Pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are easy to care for because they have a designated cage. However, that cage will have to be cleaned and maintained. Small pets like these are typically good for children who are older and understand that because the animal is small, they can’t rough house as much with them.
• Fish or aquatic animals. This is a very good starting point in teaching responsibility and taking care of something. Fish only need to be fed about twice a day or less depending on the type of fish and their tanks cleaned every couple of weeks. The only downside is that your child won’t be able to cuddle a fish! Although, there are also different types of turtles to consider.
• Cats. A feline companion is great for almost any child because of how independent cats can be. They need minimal training. Use a litter box and can grow alongside your child to become a beloved companion. However, a cat wouldn’t be best for a younger child because cats can bite and scratch.
• Dogs. This is best for older children or children who already have chores and responsibilities they can handle independently. Dogs require lots of attention and training but can make for wonderful companions.
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and Child Day Care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.