Perfect Pets For Young Kids: Easy To Look After Choices
If you want to instill a sense of responsibility and care in your child, a great way to do so would by giving it a pet to raise. Raising a pet not only teaches kids how to manage their time but also teaches them the importance of life.
The problem with giving your kids pets, however, is that not all of them are easy to raise. Some animals may be too high-maintenance, or even too dangerous, for your child to take care of by themselves. Fortunately, there are some animals that are completely safe and require little to no maintenance to keep. Here’s a quick list of some of the best.
A popular choice, hamsters are a common pet that kids can take care of. They’re incredibly cheap to own, and the equipment needed to care for them is affordable enough. Owning and taking care of a hamster isn’t all too difficult either, and more importantly, it gives your child a routine to follow, instilling the value of sticking to a regimen.
A couple of notes, however, before you go ahead and buy a hamster or two for your child. Hamsters will eat anything that they can get their hands on – and by anything, we mean anything. If your child mistakenly drops a small enough toy inside the hamster’s cage, chances are that they’ll choke on it. Be sure to warn your child of this beforehand so that they know to keep any foreign objects away from the cage.
Then, there’s the maintenance. Overall, it’s pretty simple – just change the pet’s water daily, and be sure there’s enough food for it at all times. The cage should be cleaned every week so that any debris or waste that gets in it won’t get eaten up by the little rodent. These tasks should be simple enough for any kid, but be sure to supervise them the first time they do it to see if they’re doing it properly.
Another popular pet that’s easy for kids to own is fish. Compared to hamsters, they’re far more low-maintenance, with most of the work involving the cleaning of the fishbowl or aquarium. Fishes are also great as some species can live for 10 years or more, so your child can keep them as a companion until they reach adulthood.
Should you choose to give your child a fish, there are a couple of things to consider. For one, you should explicitly tell them to only feed the fish with fish food. There have been plenty of stories of kids dropping crayons, chips, or anything they can get their hands on in an aquarium, hoping for the fishes to eat them. This can make the fish sick, or even kill them, so let them know beforehand.
Also, unless they’re old enough to be able to do so, you might want to handle the cleaning of the fishbowl or aquarium by yourself. Fishes are very sensitive to their environment, and proper cleaning involves extreme care. You can have your child watch you as you clean the fishbowl for the first few times so they know what to do by themselves in the future.
If you want a pet that your kid can bond with for years to come, then get a dog. Dogs are very playful and sociable, making them the perfect pet for kids who just want a companion to play with. They’re also great emotional support for your child and can help them get through those tough teenage years if you aren’t able to get through to them yourself.
Dogs are more difficult to maintain than hamsters or fish, however. Aside from regular feeding, you also need to bathe them, clean up after them, and potty-train them. This can be a little too much for your child to handle all at once, so take care of the dog together for a while until they get the hang of things.
If you want to make things even more interesting, have your child teach the dog some tricks. You can show them how it’s done by teaching something as simple as the “sit” command. If everything goes well, you’ll have your child bonding with the dog through training.
Cats are adorable little critters that are best suited for kids that aren’t as playful or active. They can be incredibly affectionate, and while they won’t be all over your face like a dog, they’ll love your kid all the same.
Owning a cat isn’t easy, however. Despite their laidback appearance, cats are fairly high-maintenance, and many of them can be moody at times. There will be times where your child will want to play with the cat, but can’t because it’s uninterested. Let your child learn that to take care of a cat, one must learn understanding and patience.
Other than their iconic nature, however, cats aren’t all too difficult. Replacing the litter box and refilling the food bowl is easy, and save for the occasional bath, you won’t see much resistance from them. Just be sure to declaw the cat before you give it to your kid to prevent any potential injuries or scratches.
Finally, a few reminders concerning kids owning pets of any kind:
Supervise your child taking care of the pet
If you want to let your child learn values such as responsibility and care, you’ll need to let them know what’s right and what’s not. See how they take care of the pet, and show them the right way to do it if they’re having trouble.
Don’t be too hands-on
Be sure to only step in when absolutely necessary. Remember, your child needs to learn how to take care of the pet, so it’s best that they learn by themselves.
Pets are a great way to teach children the value of life and to instill in them a sense of responsibility. They can also make for great companions in life. Just be sure they know what they’re doing, and there’s no doubt that they’ll love their pets as much as you love them.