Are you looking for the best small pets for your kids? Search no more as here are six friendly animal buddies!
Small Pets For Kids | 7 Cute Animals For Best Friends
While not everyone agrees kids should have pets–specifically, small pets for that matter–these animals make amazing buddies and have benefits not many realize. They can teach your little ones about commitment, responsibility, love for nature, care, empathy, and affection. Many studies have also shown how animals can help children with special needs such as autism. If you have more space in the household, here are 7 small pets for kids that can be potential BFFs:
Of course, dogs should be first on the list! Aren’t they every man’s best friend? They’re loyal, lovable, huggable, and even protective. Dogs love to play too, but not all dogs are great for children.
When it comes to having the best dogs for kids, find breeds that share similar characteristics as the little ones: energetic and active. In the meantime, the dogs should be patient as you know how kids can be so rambunctious! They also need to be resilient and easy to train. Dogs should understand commands especially NO.
With these in mind, here are some great small dog breeds for children:
- Cocker Spaniel
- Miniature Poodle
- Australian Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Shih Tzu
Keeping cats as small pets for kids can be tricky. For one, they tend to prefer to be alone and have less patience than dogs. They can also be independent, which can frustrate children who want to play with them. But some breeds are not only attractive but also gentle, such as the Singapura and American Curl. Meanwhile, the Cornish Rex is friendly. If you’re looking for a cat that’s affectionate, the Abysinnian makes a purrfect affectionate kitty.
Would you like to have a hypoallergenic household? There are “hypoallergenic cats,” although that’s a misnomer since all cats create dander. These breeds, though, produce the least. Great choices are the Burmese and Siamese.
Tip: If you have toddlers, it’s best to avoid getting a kitten. First, kittens need to be with their moms for a bit. Second, they are so fragile!
Do you know at least 3 percent of households own birds? That isn’t surprising as these furry pals are great small pets. They’re easy to feed, convenient and cheap to maintain, and practical for families living in small spaces. Your kids will love the fact they are intelligent creatures and easy to train. You can also spare your children from the heartbreak of losing a pet since they tend to have longer lives than cats and dogs. The usual birds, such as finches, parakeets, parrots, and canaries, are ideal for children.
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For kids who never owned small pets, hamsters are a common choice. They have a good combination of the need for social interaction and alone time. While they like to be cuddled, they also enjoy running on the hamster wheel, and not begging for your attention. Since they’re small, they’re also easy to hold. But watch out! They can bite and get hurt by wrong handling. Thus, children who are under 8 years old should be supervised when playing with hamsters. They’re also nocturnal, so kids may feel disappointed with the short playing time.
Ah, bunnies! Bunnies or rabbits are also active and playful, and those high jumps are not myths.
Rabbits, though, are not for all types of children. They’re better off with the older ones unless you’re willing to supervise the small kiddos when they’re playing. Otherwise, they can get scared from the constant handling, lifting, and cuddling.
Trivia: What’s the difference between bunny, hare, and rabbit? Rabbits and bunnies are the same thing, but hares are a different species. They’re bigger, and they give birth on nests instead of underground.
Getting a fish is a great way to teach young children a thing or two about pets early. They’re relaxing, attractive, and pleasant to look at. Your child can observe them from afar and understand how animals behave. You can teach them simple pet responsibilities such as feeding or cleaning the filters and the aquarium or bowl.
If you’re getting fish as small pets, consider the following factors: maintenance, size of aquarium, lifespan, and behavior, especially with other fish species.
7. Guinea Pigs
If you love the hamster, there’s no reason why you will not fall in love with the guinea pig. Amazing small pets, they are friendly and not skittish. They are also playful and active. Their different personalities make interacting with them interesting, to say the least. They are also not nocturnal, so your children can spend more time with them than the hamster.
And you can teach these small pets some cool tricks! Check out some guinea pig moves:
When is the best time to get these friends as small pets? Answer: no exact age. Of course, small ones have to be monitored, making sure both are safe. As your children grow older, bond with the animal better, and learn to be more mature and responsible in handling them, you can start relaxing. Note, though, pets are not presents, and they’re not a fad. As parents, it’s your job to teach your kids these animals need love and care for years.
Do your children have small pets? Share your stories and photos with us!