How To Choose The Right Pet For Your Child

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There are few things more endearing than a child and their first pet growing up together. The bond is irreplaceable. It is important, however, to choose the right pet for your child.

There are many factors that can go into this decision. It is best to consider your lifestyle and the personality of your child before you make this big decision.

The age of your child

If you have young children you need to accept that it is you who will be doing most of the work to care for this pet. It will, however, be worth it later on. Your child will grow up with the animal and eventually play a part in its care.

Many dogs are great with young children, even babies. Dogs form lifelong bonds with their families. They can also be great playmates and protectors. A dog will also learn household manners and many commands. It will be a true member of the family. Dogs are an excellent choice for all life stages of your children.

dogs

Small pets like hamsters and rabbits will be difficult for young children to handle. They can be skittish and evasive. They also require a lot of cleaning up after. Cages must be cleaned once or twice a week. Some rabbits can be handled regularly.

It depends on how young the bunny is when you get it and how much time you spend with it. Hamsters and gerbils are not very interactive, and take skill to handle safely. These are best for older kids that can learn proper handling and care techniques.

Cats can be solitary animals and like to do their own thing. However, many families have raised their cats from a young age and they get along fine with kids. They are easy to clean up after and easy to litter box train. A child that is old enough to understand simple commands can learn to be “gentle” with the cat.

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cat

They are soft and often like to snuggle up to their family members, making them a good interactive choice for a large range of age groups.

Your child’s personality

You really need to be honest with yourself when you are contemplating this fact. Your child is still growing and learning. There are many stages that children go through before they reach adulthood. However, all little people have some true personality traits that affect how they take on life.

Some children are calm and quiet while others are very social and boisterous. You want your child to be able to interact well with the new family pet. A personality match is a necessity.

A rowdy child might be a poor fit for a cat. The cat will most likely go running and hide. Your child will never be able to interact with or enjoy the cat. You can teach your child many animal-friendly skills, but this takes time.

If your child is still learning to follow directions and is slow to respond to commands, a small pet could be difficult, as well. It takes certain skills and obedience to deal with things like hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits. You would not want there to be an accident where the child or animal gets hurt.

First pets can be a great learning experience. Fish and hermit crabs offer something to observe without having to worry about hands on too much. Even toddlers can help to put food in a fish bowl or crab tank. For kids who are still learning to respect the boundaries of animals, this is a great place to start.

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A calm child may be great with a cat since cats usually prefer to set the pace on contact. They will prefer to approach people rather than have people forcefully approach them. Older dogs may also be great companions for calm children that prefer to relax and play gently.

dog

Active children might do best with a puppy or kitten since they have a lot of energy. A puppy will accept the child and they can learn each other’s personality as they grow together. A young kitten may get used to being handled easier than an older one.

Some children absolutely love taking care of their animals. Dogs are very receptive to constant attention. They want nothing more than to be with their beloved family. If you have a child that wants to feed, bathe and brush, a dog will be a great addition.

Meet and greet

The great thing about animal shelters is that they will allow you to spend some time with the animals before choosing one. Many pet owners will tell you how they knew their pet was the right one as soon as they met with it.

We are attracted to certain types of people. This can also be applied to pets. It is a great idea to take the entire family for a visit to the establishment where you will be choosing your pet.

Take a look around the entire place and see all of the different animals available. Choose some different ones to meet with and see how your child and the animal get along.

Think outside the box

There are many popular pets available, however, there are also some fun different pets you can enjoy. If you live in an area that allows a vast variety of animals, take advantage of the opportunity. Many people have great stories of growing up with ducks, pigs, and goats.

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Birds are also an option for those children that prefer to observe more than be hands on. Although many birds will allow you to handle them. Add a little magic to your kid’s childhood with an unusual pet choice.

bird

Research

As soon as you start to think about acquiring a pet for your child, you really need to research your options. Look into the traits of different dog breeds if you decide on a dog. Learn how to make a cat a part of your home, or become knowledgeable about equipment needed for small animals.

It is up to you to nurture the relationship between your child and your pet. If you take the time to learn about the animal you can give your child an excellent chance at being a successful pet owner.

Kids and animals are often instant friends. If you have a true animal lover on your hands, they will want to interact with everything from snakes to cows. Take the time to read about any animal you plan on bringing home.

Take this opportunity to start teaching your child about respecting other living things. Children that are taught compassion for animals often grow up to be very kind and giving individuals.

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