Finding the Right Fur Baby for Your Child

There are plenty of reasons of good reasons why you want a pet for your home right now. For many animal lovers, having a furry friend is a rewarding and enriching experience filled with lots of love and joy. However, if you have a child or children at home, it’s probably best to give some thought as to whether you’re making the right decision or what kind of pet you should be bringing home to your children.

Pets obviously require plenty of responsibility and it’s important to think about whether or not your child will be able to handle most of those responsibilities. If not, you have to consider if you have time to help your child take care of their pets. Having pets around children also means that you have to put in the effort to train your pet to be safe around children while making sure your child also knows how to behave around your new furry friend. There is certainly a lot to think about, but if you’ve thought about most of these things and you’re eager to bring home a new ‘baby’, we’ve gathered some recommendations for the best companion pets for kids.

For ethical and environmental reasons, consider adopting/rescuing the pets below instead of buying them from a regular shop. For instance, one-third of all parrots are under threat of extinction because of habitat loss and pet trade. Additionally, animal-breeding mills, like puppy mills, for instance, are notorious for their poor conditions and their mistreatment of animals. So make the right choice, and adopt your fur baby!

Parakeets

If they are well taken care of, parakeets can live up until their teens, making them perfect for long-time commitment. The important thing to remember about parakeets is that although they may be interactive and affectionate, they need to be handled with care and gentleness. Children who are hyperactive, rough and rowdy are likely to frighten this type of pet unless they can be taught how to be gentle around them.

Parakeets enjoy being whistled to and it’s good to give them time outside their cage to fly around. These cuties can be a bit messy, so regular cleaning will be necessary.

Parakeets have very sharp and strong beaks that they use to climb around and navigate their environment. While it’s true that they are friendly and that they bond well with their human families, it’s also true that parakeet owners have felt the painful impact of parakeet’s beak. It may not be out of aggression and it may be that your bird just lost their balance and is trying to hold on to your finger. With this in mind, consider speaking to an experienced parakeet owner about their experience and talk to your family about handling the bird with caution.

Cats

Cats are often misconstrued as aloof and unaffectionate, but this isn’t exactly true. They’re certainly much more independent than dogs, for instance, but they also enjoy affection, cuddles, interaction and playtime. Of course, all animals are different so some might act differently depending on how they are socialised and their unique individual traits.

Cats work well for people who can leave for work feeling assured that their pet can live at home independently, provided that they are left with enough food and water. Your child can take on the responsibility of cleaning up the litter box, while also enjoying the quirky antics of cats when it’s playtime. 

Remember that cat claws are made for hunting and even the most loving cat can leave you with a few scratches when they’re playing with you or trying to get on top of you for some cuddles and affection.

When they’re not playing or cuddling, your feline friend will spend much of its time sleeping, so it’s important to give your cat some space to rest as well.

Rodents

Guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters are great pets if you have a small living space. These pets also need gentle handling though. Teach your child that your pet rodent needs delicate handling so as to avoid fearful bites. It’s worth remembering that some rodents like hamsters, are nocturnal and generally don’t like being bothered during the day. It goes without saying that roomy cages are preferred and that regular cleaning of their living spaces is required. If you’re not opposed to the idea, rats actually male excellent pets for kids as they are highly intelligent, sociable, playful and enjoy lots of attention and human companionship.

Dogs

Dogs are the primary choice for lots of families and while they are often a great addition to the family. However, they need lots of attention which includes, training, socialisation, plenty of exercise, a daily routine and regular trips to the vet. It’s advised that you should do plenty of research when it comes to picking the right breed for your family. For instance, labradors and golden retrievers are great for a family that exercises a lot, while English bulldogs and basset hounds work best for less active families.

Whatever kind of pet you pick, it’s good to remind yourself that taking in a furry friend is a serious commitment that many people can’t handle. Something as small as fur shedding can be a big enough reason to turn some families off, so it’s wise to talk to pet owners to get all the details you can find about what having a pet requires. Caring for a pet can also cause a lot of trauma or pain because pets can get old or injured and die when it’s their time, which means you’ll also need to have grave conversations with your child about death. 

Similar to children, pets can teach you and your little one a lot about life, love, responsibility, care and much more. It’s certainly a blissful experience if you are ready to start taking on the responsibility.

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