Your Child’s First Pet

galefeedingrabbits

What Should Your Child’s First Pet Be? (Guest Post)

It has been said that giving your child a pet to take care of will help him or her learn what being responsible is about. As a first time mom to this kind of parenting, it may be quite difficult to match your child to the right pet. The ideal age for a child to own a pet is 7 years old and up. However, starting at age 5 or 6 can be also be okay, as long as you know what you are up for! Caring for even the littlest of pets requires supervision from adults.

To help you with the decision making process, here are some ideas and tips for each potential pet:

galeandcurlyDogs

We all know that canines are the most popular animals to own as pets. Man’s best friend indeed, because it is a companion pet which your child can interact with. Before owning one, you need to know first if your child can be counted on to do tasks for his pet such as feeding the dog and filling up its water supply. Dogs need high maintenance because they need daily exercise, toilet training, and a lot of caring. The best dog breeds to own as pets are Beagle, Golden Retriever, Maltese, Pug, Shih tzu, and Poodle, to name a few. If you live in a smaller house or in an apartment, it would be best to choose smaller breeds. Be careful when considering breeds known as being aggressive, such as Rottweiler and Doberman. They may not be suitable for young children.

Cats

Compared to canine, the moody domestic feline is perfect for a nurturing child who does not really mind being ignored every now and then. The best breed for household cats are the Persian cats, Abyssinians, Burmese, Birmans, Manx, Ragdolls and Somalis. Stray kittens that are usually of multiple breeds could grow up to be a very good companion and a pest controller too.

gale@avilonBirds

Consider the Myna birds. My neighbor used to have one, and it was a main attraction especially for kids who passed by. Myna birds pick up people’s voice as well as intonation and expressions. Birds are perfect for children who are keen observers of animal behavior. If you decide for a pet bird, you need to be sure that you and your child are prepared for the commitment because birds can possibly live a long time. Finches and canaries are simple to maintain and could be fascinating for your child. These types don’t care much for human attention and interaction, so it would be better to get several to provide them company. Parakeets are known to develop a strong connection with their owners and can learn to talk too. My uncle has one and does not put it in a cage. He just lets it fly around but it eventually comes back to him some time before sunset.

Goldfish

Goldfish as pets may look easy to maintain because they don’t need toilet-training and walking, but the biggest challenge is to keep them alive! The germy waste-filled bowl or tank needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. You also need to regularly supply aerated water. Fish are best for first time pet owners.

Small Mammals

Small mammals like hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits are popular pet choices. They are known for their cuteness, being harmless and clever. Pocket pets like these are ideal for families that spend most of their time outside the house. If you think that you and your child are not ready yet to take care of a cat or a dog, then having this type of pet is a good compromise for kids who are excited to have animals in the house.

~Ghezzi is a full-time work at home mom. She is a contributor at pregg.net, a blogazine for newbie as well as experienced parents. Pregg.net believes that parenting is something you never stop learning. Ghezzi is mom to her 5 year old daughter who is doing quite well in school. They both love to dine out and watch animated films.

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