Every parent faces the dilemma of getting a pet for their child or children at some stage. Little ones can be very persuasive! If they have worn you down and you have agreed that an animal friend is going to join your household, all that’s left to do is choose what type! Here are some ideas.
Dogs are a kid’s best friend A dog is a lovely addition to any household. Your child will love having a pal to romp around with and to help them cause mischief. Children who like to develop strong bonds will do very well with a dog in the family. They are also great for teens who feel that no-one understands them. The relationship with a dog is very deep and intense and they literally become a member of the family.
The downside is that dogs require a lot of care. You cannot rely on younger children to take them for walks because this is a big responsibility. You have to choose a dog with the right temperament for your family and you cannot leave them alone with babies and very young children. If you intend taking your pet on holiday with you, it will limit where you can go.
Goldfish are a good place to start Goldfish are ideal for kids who have never had a pet before and are considered an idea starter-pet. You can let them look at goldfish for sale and they can choose one that they like the look of. There will be very little effort required to look after them and you can leave them alone in the house (or garden pond) without worrying that they will wreck the house.
The problem is that you get little in the way of companionship and they have a short life expectancy so this will not be a very long-term relationship.
Cats are cuddly – sometimes Cats are warm and fluffy and it can be calming to stroke them. Whilst they are less emotionally dependent on you than dogs are, they still require a lot of attention and time. It is a life-long commitment.
As much as 30% of the population are allergic to cats so this is something that has to be considered. They are also perfectly capable of damaging your soft-furnishings and may scratch young children when they are playing with them.
Small mammals are cute and furry Small mammals include rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and rats. They all have their own requirements as a pet. Some like to live alone and others prefer to love in pairs. There will be an initial outlay because they will need a cage, feeding bowl and water bottle etc. but the vet’s fees tend to be less than for dogs and cats. A rabbit can live outside or inside but gerbils and rats are mainly indoor pets.
The downside is that they have variable personalities and it is hit and miss whether you will get a friendly one! This can distress children if they wanted a pet they could cuddle and just get a bite instead!