Is your child begging you for a pet? Pets can be really beneficial to the household, and even more beneficial to a child. But once you've decided to get your child a pet, how do you know what the best pet for your child is? How do you choose the perfect pet? Read on to find out.
Are You Ready?
While it's important to decide if your child is ready to take care of an animal, that's not the only thing to consider. Are you ready for a pet? No matter how much a child promises that he'll take full responsibility for his new pet, at some point you're going to have to care for it. Ultimately, that pet is the responsibility of the entire family. Before you make a decision though, consider how owning a pet can benefit your child:
• A pet can teach your child about the existence of living creatures first hand.
• Caring for the pet will teach your child responsibility.
• Gives the child a companion that will never judge him.
• Teaches the child that animals aren't expendable, which can potentially make him a more caring person later on.
• Pets are very fun! You're child will have a blast.
When To Get A Pet
Experts say that the perfect time to get a pet is in between the ages of 4 and 8. While older kids will also benefit from getting a pet, this seems to be the ideal time for kids to truly experience the benefits of owning one.
Start Small When Choosing A Pet
Particularly with small kids, it's generally recommended that you start with small pets that are easy to take care of, and then build up. This way, your child can learn about taking care of an animal without diving into a big commitment like a dog or a cat. These pets can come later, once your child is used to taking care of an animal.
For younger kids, consider starting out with a goldfish or a hermit crab. Both are low maintenance animals. If your child is a little older, fancy rats, fancy mice, guinea pigs, leopard gecko's, and bearded dragons are all good choices. These animals are more friendly and docile. Therefore, they're less likely to bite. For a bigger commitment, consider getting a dog, cat, or rabbit. A dog in particular will make a fantastic companion, if you feel that your child is ready to take on the responsibility.
Tips On Getting A New Pet
Here are some tips to have the best experience introducing a new pet to the family.
1. Be Careful
Avoid leaving young children alone with pets that might bite or scratch them.
2. Choose A Pet That Matches You're Lifestyle
For the best experience, choose a pet that best matches your family's way of living. If your family is active, choose an active animal. If your family is on the lazier side, choose a calmer, laid back pet.
3. Set Limits And Rules
Be sure to set rules and limits as guidelines to help your child care for the pet. Explain clearly what you expect from the child.
With all these things in mind, you should be able to find the ideal pet for your child. Even if you start small, your child will soon gain the responsibility he needs to own a larger pet such as a cat or a dog. You're new pet will make a fantastic addition to the family!