Don't get toddlers and young children pets 'til they're old enough
Puppies & kittens are not toys!


Every year kids beg, plead and wheedle their parents in order to get a pet for Christmas, but often times they're not old enough to handle the responsibility. So, what do you do, cave and get them one, knowing you'll regret it in the long run?

The answer is this: get them a fake pet that closely resembles the real thing — for now that is. You can always revisit the subject next year, when they're older. In the meantime, here are five cuddly substitutes to choose from.

1. Perfect Petzzz


perfect petzzz for kids
Golden retriever puppy


A company with a product called Perfect Petzzz is offering adorable miniatures of cats and dogs curled up in a ball sleeping. You can get golden retrievers, huskies, pugs, cavalier King Charles spaniels and cats in almost any color pattern you can imagine. They're constructed of super soft plushie material for a furry feel kids — and a lot of adults — will love. Not only are they immensely huggable, but they feature simulated breathing to make them almost lifelike.

2. Little Live Pets

Little Live Pets for kids for Christmas
Cuddles the Dream Kitten


Whether it be a puppy or a kitten, Little Live Pets cuddle, make noise, open and close their eyes and even wag their tails when prompted through various actions like feeding them a bottle or scratching their cheeks. They come with birth certificates, bottle, food bowl and other accessories, but batteries aren't included.

3. Georgie the Interactive Puppy


Georgie the interactive puppy for kids at Christmas


How about an electronic plushie puppy called Georgie that responds to voice commands with over 100 interactions of random puppy behavior that include actions like high fives, dancing, sit, stay, stand, tug-o-war, selfies and more. The packaging doubles as a carrier, and the hang tag can be used as a collar and ID tag for the frisky pup. It includes rope toy, neck bandana, puppy training guide and a USB charging cord.

4. FurReal Friends


FurReal Friends toys for kids at Christmas
Tyler the tiger roars


Puppies and kittens too tame for your adventuresome tots? No sweat, Hasbro's FurReal Friends has got you covered with wild animals in addition to its domestic pet line. You can choose from leopards, tigers, monkeys, pandas, penguins and ponies or even dragons to satisfy the wildest imaginations. Depending on which critter you pick, they poop, jump, sniffle, roar and cuddle, among other things. Batteries not included.

5. Golden Companion Pet


Joy for All companion pet for kids and lonely hearts
Even adults will enjoy these companion pets


Joy for All has a plushie companion pet they're marketing to individuals of all age levels, not just kids. They are sweet, soft and huggable. Some of their features are reactions to touch with puppy-like movements and sounds, a furry realistic coat and even a simulated heartbeat. But it's not just movement that activates them. They also respond to sounds through something called Bark Back technology. Packaging includes care guide and batteries.

More Options for Kids' Pet Toys

There are a number of other manufacturers producing products like these that may be more inline with your liking or budget, but if you click on any of these on Amazon, it will show you all the other choices available to you.

Another option is to get a personalized pet plushie custom made to order in the likeness of a beloved pet, alive or deceased, but they don't purr, bark, wriggle, breath or come with simulated heartbeats. You can, however, cuddle them to your heart's desire. Just a heads up, though: they are far more expensive than the items listed above.

Whatever route you go this Christmas, as a parent please don't give in and get children who are not mature enough to handle pets yet a live animal, regardless of the time of year. You'll thank yourself later for holding out, I promise.


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