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Are you considering getting your child their first pet? Selecting the right pet depends on the child’s age and interets. Pets can be a great educational experience. They can also help teach responsibilty. However, remember to consider the amount of care involved, because in many cases, it eventually falls on the parent! You’ll have to invest in a living space for your pet and will have ongoing costs for food and supplies. Here are some great choices for a first pet!
1. Fish as a First Pet
Fish are a common choice for a first pet. They are easy to care for after the initial set up. Even young children can help with feeding. The tanks do require periodic cleaning that requires help from an adult.
Pros: Easy Care, No Allergens.
Cons: Can’t be Handled, Short Lifespans.
2. Rodents as a First Pet
Rodents are a popular choice because they look so cute and fuzzy! Frequent handling is needed to help keep them tame, but biting is always a possibility. While rats tend to have a bad reputation, they are actually great pets. Rats and mice tend to be more social than other small rodents like hamsters and gerbils. Guinea pigs tend to be calm and rarely bite. They are often friendly and like to be handled.
Pros: Active, Friendly, Can Be Handled.
Cons: Messy, Frequent Cleaning Needed, Possible Allergies to Fur, Some are Nocturnal.
3. Insects as a First Pet
Ant farms, butterfly kits and roly poly habitats are a great choice with a short commitment. These are great for young kids who may not be ready to care for a pet long term.
Pros: Easy Care, Active, No Allergens.
Cons: Short Life Span, Can’t be Handled.
4. Birds as a First Pet
Birds are active and fun to watch. Cockatiels, parakeets and budgies are common choices. Many are agreeable to being handled and like to be vocal.
Pros: Active, Easy Care, No Allergens, Can Be Handled.
Cons: Can be Noisy, Frequent Cleaning Needed.
5. Reptiles as a First Pet
Leopard Geckos a great first reptile choice. Other common choices include snakes and tortoises. They are usually calm and are relatively easy to care for. Depending on the type of reptile, you may need live insects or mice for feedings.
Pros: Friendly, Can Be Handled, No Allergens.
Cons: Some are Nocturnal, Can Carry Bacteria if Good Hygiene is not Followed.
6. Cats and Dogs as a First Pet
While adorable, these are more expensive to care for and require extra attention. Parent involvement will be necessary! These make a great family pet where everyone can be involved in the care.
Pros: Friendly, Long Life Span
Cons: Possible Allergies to Fur, Higher level of Commitment
What was your first pet? Does your child have a pet?