Is Your Child Old Enough For A Pet Of Their Own?

So your child has gotten to that age when they want a pet. You have no objections to the idea except for the fact that they may be too young to care properly for a pet. How do you know if your little one is ready for a pet to call their own? First of all, kids of the same age sometimes have different levels of maturity, so to put an age requirement may not be the solution. It is much better to think of your child not as ready age wise but rather as ready maturity wise. The most important thing is that your child understands that the pet is a living thing and that they can be hurt by our actions.

Pets are great for kids

The type of pet you get your kids is important of course. Most kids will want a dog or a cat, maybe a hamster. Either one of those 3 will not only love your kid back they will teach him or her important lessons in life. Pets have been shown to teach kids, responsibility, a sense of right and wrong, compassion as well as value of friendships. Those are some great lessons to learn at a young age. The pet becomes part of the child’s responsibility. They have to care for it, play with it and ensure the pet’s safety. The dog or cat will show affection back in most cases, so that gives the kid incentive to treat them good.

What age should the pet be for a young child?

Most people love puppies or kittens, they are adorable and do the silliest things. For a child’s first pet though consider getting one that is getting out of the puppy or kitty stage. A one to 3 year old pet is best for a young child. The reason for that is that they are still young to grow with your kid, but they are less excitable and therefore much less likely to cause or get into trouble with your kid. An older dog or cat may also be great, but they also may not have as much energy as your kid and not be as playful either. That is not the case with all older pets, but as a general rule, one to tree year old dogs or cats make for the best companions.

What if the pet is not for us?

There is a small chance that your family may not be ready for a pet, but you just don’t know it yet. Fortunately you can run a test by fostering a pet. Many animal shelters or animal rescue organizations have foster programs. By fostering a pet you can see how your child will interact with a dog or cat. If owning a pet is not for you, this may be the best way to find out. You and your child have the same responsibilities while at the same time you are helping an animal and an organization that needs it.

What other types of pets are good for children

There are many pets that are great for a child. Of course cats and dogs are a top of the list, but a lot of people do not have room in their homes for a pet like that. You may prefer to start with something smaller that can also be the responsibility of the child. Goldfish are great because there is feeding and cleaning the fishbowl responsibilities that you can assign to your child. Turtles are also great and a child can actually pick them up as well. Hamsters are a bit bigger and the bigger the pet, the bigger the responsibility. Hamsters are easy to care for and your child will be able to take it with him to different places. 

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