Growing up can be tough regardless of whether or not you and your child are fully prepared for life’s challenges. One thing that may help your little one grow to their fullest potential is the presence of a loyal and loving companion.
With this guide, we’ll provide you with various pet ideas to help you find a proper animal companion for your child. As a bonus, we’ve also included resources for pet shops, vets, dog shelters, pet furniture, and other related services.
Pet Ideas for Children
You can’t go wrong with man’s best friend, especially if you intend to have them grow up alongside your little one. Depending on the breed you choose, your dog can also double as a four-legged bodyguard to help watch over your child when you’re not around.
The most common breeds that families with children opt for are usually, golden retrievers, labradors, beagles, and Irish setters. These dogs are strongly preferred due to their patient and playful personalities.
Cats are rather peculiar pets in that no two cats will have the same personalities and preferences. While some cats may enjoy being cuddled and groomed, others will gladly bear their fangs and claws at the slightest bit of physical contact.
To ensure that your cat has a decent temperament it’s important to pay attention to their pedigree and breed. Maine coon cats in particular are known for being extremely gentle, kind, and sociable.
Guinea pigs are great pets for those who wish to have a companion that carries significantly less responsibility compared to a cat or dog. Since they are generally hardy and easy to care for, they can be a great pet for children who are just learning to care for animals.
Aside from their convenience and great health, guinea pigs also have unique quirks such as popcorning and squealing. These behaviors distinguish them from your run-of-the-mill pets and add to their special appeal.
Of the many bird species available most families choose to care for parakeets as they are generally gentle and playful. Aside from being a joy to handle, these birds can also be taught to communicate and even imitate common phrases.
Parakeets are also fairly easy to take care of. According to Paola Cuevas Moreno, veterinarian and behaviorist at Pet Keen, they do not take a lot of space and are not as messy as some of their feathered counterparts. “Daily cleaning of the cage, daily water changes and providing food are simple tasks that kids can gradually learn to take part in while learning how to be responsible and gentle,” she said.
Before you decide to pick up a winged companion for your child, remember that birds can often trigger reactions in those with allergies. Because of this, it would be wise to screen your children for allergies and take precautions with the help of a pediatrician.
To add an exotic twist to our list, we also chose to recommend crested geckos as an alternative to more common pet varieties. These cute reptiles make excellent pets as they are easy to care for, pleasant to handle, and great at handling household pests.
For extra safety, we’d still recommend supervising children if they intend to handle a gecko as these little lizards can give a small bite if mishandled.
Dr. Amanda Takiguchi, a veterinarian and founder of Trending Breeds, recommends corn snakes for kids who like reptiles or more exotic pets. Dr. Amanda vouches that these harmless and super sweet snakes are about the easiest reptiles that you could ever care for. While a corn snake’s common food consists of small mammals such as mice, they do not require live mice as many people may think.
“[Hedgehogs] are small, cute, and easy to take care of,” said Jen Jones, founder of Your Dog Advisor.
They do not require a lot of space. Neither do they need to be taken out as often, so they can be kept in a cage or aquarium with a clean litter box. While hedgehogs may have spines on their backs, Jen Jones assures that the spines can be removed with special tools if the owner wants to handle the animal without getting hurt.
Another pet that children might love is the bearded dragon.
As said by Pierre Cab, owner of Reptile Craze, “[Bearded Dragons] are calm and docile creatures that are easy to handle.” Your children can do their homework or watch TV while their bearded dragon sits on their laps.
They also require little care in terms of feeding. Their diet consists of a mix of fruits and insects, which can then be placed in a food bowl inside their enclosure.
Shella Oaks, blogger at Oddly Cute Pets, recommends the turtle. They are fairly easy to feed, and do not require as much attention as dogs and cats.
Another excellent fact about turtles is that they can live for many years, so kids can form a lasting bond with their pet. Turtles also require very little space, making them ideal for small homes or apartments.
In addition, turtles are relatively inexpensive to care for, and they don’t need to be walked or fed as often as other pets. Most importantly, turtles can provide kids with hours of enjoyment as they watch their pet swim and explore its tank. So if you’re looking for a pet that will make your child smile, a turtle may be the perfect choice.
Now that we’ve covered some popular choices for childhood pets, we hope you’ll be able to find a fitting companion for your little animal lover.