Best Pets For 12-Year-Old Kids

Are you a parent looking for the best pets for 12-year-old kids? If so, read on to find out which are some of the best dogs for your growing child!

Giving your kids a pet will not only make them happy, but also helps them grow as a person. 

12 years of age is thought to be one of the best starting ages for preparing your kids to be more independent and responsible. Pet ownership often teaches children lots of beneficial things that they might not be able to learn in other situations.

Providing them pets that they can take care of will be a great way to teach them responsibility, as well as empathy, dedication, and so much more.

In this article, we’ll share some of the best pets for your 12-year-old kids.

Best pets for 12-year-old kids

12 Best Pets For 12-Year-Old Kids 


Best pets for 12-year-old kids

Rabbits can be extraordinary pets for kids, yet you should be prepared to accept their skittish nature. They can be startled quite easily and are very delicate animals. They can nip at you in defense or when they feel threatened, so before you consider getting a rabbit for your 12-year-old, your child should be able to responsibly handle boundaries and be gentle with them. 

Rabbits are common pets and are a popular choice among small children. Like guinea pigs, bunnies can be great options for young children due to their delicate and sensitive appearance, nature, and behavior.

Even though they are fairly low maintenance pets, bunnies should still be handled by responsible pet owners. This includes your children, too. It’s important that they’re mindful of them and don’t antagonize them in any way.

If you or your family has considered owning a rabbit, you will be happy to know that they can make extraordinary companions for your children. They are interesting, energetic, and can be quite expressive, much more than you might think.

Rabbits are also ideal for children because your kids can even help maintain them in various ways. Your children can help clean their cage, give them fresh food and water, and interact with them. They are straightforward and your 12-year-old should be more than capable of handling at least some portions of their care.

Rabbits will need to be taken out of their enclosures consistently. You can use this opportunity for you and your children to interact with them, bond, and enjoy their company together.

You’ll need to provide them with an enclosure that is safe, secure, and has proper bedding. As long as you do so, you’ll be providing them with as healthy of a life as possible, which is important, considering rabbits can live between 8 to 12 years.


Best pets for 12-year-old kids

Even though dogs are as cliché as you might think, they can still be wonderful pets, especially for your 12-year-old child. Many dogs are resilient and are fairly less likely to be harmed by your children than other smaller creatures. Additionally, dogs love interaction and playtime, which can also serve as a benefit for your child.

Dogs are very versatile, so you should be able to find one that complements your child’s personality specifically. Whether big or small, dogs can truly accommodate just about every type of person and personality out there. Dogs can teach your children tons about being a responsible pet owner, which can even translate very well into important life skills and positive behavior.

Dogs are lifelong companions who can give your children plenty of support, happiness, enjoyment, and so much more.

However, with all that said, dogs still do need lots of care, especially when compared to other animals. They will need toys, regular vet visits, food, water, and just about everything else that you might expect from caring for a pet.

Dogs are delicate and exceptionally understanding pets that can improve your child’s life in ways that not even their parents can in certain aspects. Dogs can help your children be more active, both physically and mentally. Dogs are loyal, lovable, and can even be great options for those children with special needs.


Pet Cat

Cats are typically the gold standard when it comes to finding a pet that will be a good fit for a young child. Cats are resilient, heal fairly fast, and can be very independent pets. Additionally, they can live for decades, so they have a chance to be a very great and close friend to your child. Another added bonus of cats is that they will never require the same amount of effort as dogs do. Cats will typically go about their day and won’t mind too much if they are forgotten about occasionally. Cats can be a great choice for those who don’t want to put in the same amount of effort as a dog would require.

With all of the above said, cats aren’t a great fit for certain personalities. Some cat breeds do better with certain personalities than others. Cats usually will not give the same amount of interaction as a dog might. Cats will still need toys, food, water, and many other similar things that dogs require. You’ll also need a litter box, litter, and scratching posts at the very least.

Even though cats may not show the same amount of affection as dogs do, it doesn’t mean that they are bad pets or wouldn’t be a good choice for your child.


Pet Hedgehog

Even though hedgehogs might not make the most cuddly pets, they can still be charming, adorable, and simple enough to take care of. Plus, they won’t live as long as pets or dogs will, so they’re not as much of a commitment as them. They can still live between 4 to 7 years though, which is still a fairly considerable amount of time.

Also, if hedgehogs are taken care of while still young, they can learn to love their owners and even show affection towards them.  

Hedgehogs require more consideration than other animals, due to their different needs. Hedgehogs are also prone to more medical issues than other smaller pets like guinea pigs are. This is always something to be aware of, as your vet bills might be a little more expensive with these unique creatures.

Hedgehogs are omnivores, so they’ll need a diet containing both vegetables and creepy crawlies. Your children should not be afraid to handle bugs or mealworms, as these are a large portion of many hedgehogs’ diets.

When considering getting a hedgehog as a pet, ensures that you don’t need a permit for them or that they are illegal to own where you live. Some states or areas simply do not allow hedgehogs as pets, no matter how cute they might be!


Fish in Aqaurium

A fish might be the ideal “starter” pet for a 12-year-old kid. However, there are various different types of fish and some will need much higher levels of care than others. You might think that a goldfish will be a great option, but in reality, they can be more maintenance and harder to take care of than something like a Betta fish

If you have enough space, you even have the option to keep fish outside, depending on where you live. Koi fish are a popular choice for outdoor fish, while Bettas, Goldfish, and Guppies are among some of the most popular indoor fish choices. If you’re even considering outdoor fish as pets, know that their costs will be much higher, mainly due to the fact that you’ll have to purchase a pond or build one so that you can house them.

Nonetheless, indoor fish are still great options. Betta fish flourish best in little aquariums with about 2 gallons of water, a clean environment, and their water kept somewhere in the range of 76 and 82°F (24 and 28°C). Make sure that wherever you decide to get your fish from is from a reputable breeder.



Many people might only consider fluffy animals such as cats and dogs for children. However, there plenty of other options. Yet, certain reptiles make excellent pets for children, too.

Tortoises, such as the Russian Tortoise, can live over 50 years. Many reptiles will most typically have fairly long life spans, so make sure that your child is truly interested in them before purchasing one.

In the event that you’re looking for reptiles as pets, know that you have quite a variety to pick from. Some snake species make fantastic pets and are very low-maintenance. You might think that snakes are dangerous and terrible choices for your 12-year-old, but snakes are actually fairly tame and are much safer pet than you might imagine.

In addition, reptiles are non-allergenic pets. Although, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that reptiles do pose certain health risks to younger children, such as the risk of salmonella. However, as long as you teachers child to properly and thoroughly wash their hands before and after handling, this will very likely not even be an issue. If you’re interested in reptiles, try to talk to a specialist to see which can be right for your children.  


Best Pets For 12-Year-Old Kids

Birds are not only beautiful and pleasant to see, but they can help create an environment that is truly enjoyable to be around in. If your child happens to be a fan of music or loves sounds in general, birds can be great choices, depending on your child’s preferences.

Birds can be astounding pets, despite the fact that birds will almost always be higher maintenance than other pets. They can even be more expensive to maintain as well. However, they have plenty of positives and unique aspects to them that truly make them stand out from other animals. Birds are some of the smartest animals out there, they can be social, and can even understand their owners to a degree. Birds will need to be fed every day and require huge amounts of time to properly care for.

You might want to consider a parakeet is a great starter choice for your child, in the event that they are interested in having a pet bird. You can also have cockatiels and cockatoos as pets, but they will cost more to maintain and may have slightly different needs than parakeets might.

Birds will require tons of space too. Their cage or enclosure should be as spacious as possible, which might be a problem for parents who are on a tight budget or don’t have much spare room to offer in their homes.

A few birds, including parrots, can be noisy and even downright annoying. They can even wake you up at night and in the early hours of the morning. Additionally, never purchase a bird for your child unless you know that they are fully committed to keeping them, as birds can potentially live for decades. Some parrots can live over 80 years! When considering birds as pets, the fact of the matter is that they can even outlive you and your children, so only purchase one if you and your child are 100% dedicated to their care.


Box Turtle With Child

Turtles can make an ideal pet if you’re looking for something that’s lower maintenance and straightforward to take care of. Turtles are shy, timid, and quiet pets. This can make them a great pet for anyone who might be sensitive to sound or doesn’t want a pet that’s too noisy. Turtles can also live for very long periods of time, so these are another long-term investment pet that should always be considered before purchasing. On the plus side, as long as they are well cared for, you’ll never have to worry about your child’s pet turtle passing anytime soon, as some can live for over 60 years easily.

Turtles do require a fairly large amount of space, and many turtle owners fail to give them the space that they need. The good thing about turtles however, is that other than the initial costs for their enclosure, they don’t require too much money after that. They still will need food, fresh water, proper heating, filtration, and an area that’s large enough for them to be comfortable in. 

Insects and Arthropods  

Best Pets For 12-Year-Old Kids

Six-legged animals probably won’t be the first choice for many parents and children alike, but they aren’t nearly as dangerous as you may think.

Insects and Arthropods can be very unique pets that can teach your children a great deal about animals. Most of these animals will be low maintenance, cheap to keep, and will likely not need much space at all. With insects and other arthropods, you’ll be getting a lot of pet in a little package! Additionally, in many circumstances, these pets pose a much lower risk than other commonly kept pets.

If you have a child who’s interested in bugs and other creepy crawlies, definitely consider an insect or arthropod as a starting pet for them. Depending on the type of insect or arthropod that you are interested in, their lifespan will typically not be as long as other animals, which can be a positive or negative depending on you and your child’s preferences.


Pet Ferret Curled Up

Ferrets are becoming an increasingly popular choice as pets among both parents and children. Ferrets are energetic little fur balls that, once bonded with, can be an excellent playmate for your child. These creatures have seemingly endless amounts of energy and have the capacity to play for hours and hours at a time. This can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how much time your child is willing to spend with their pet. Ferrets are social and love investing energy with their family. Ferrets are much similar to cats in many regards, especially due to the fact that they aren’t too loud and even use the litter box too.

However, ferrets might not be an ideal option for smaller kids. Ferrets can nibble and nip at you if they are being defensive or otherwise are unhappy. However, many animals pose similar risks and outside of fish, there aren’t any 100% safe animals that exist, if at all. Some are clearly more safe than others though, but if treated well and cared for enough, ferrets can have great relationships with their owners. Children will need to learn boundaries with these pets, as being too rough or not gentle enough can aggravate them. However, once a ferret trusts you, they can be one of the most rewarding pets out there. They snuggle, play with you, and genuinely look like they are having the time of their lives while interacting!


Pet Hamster

Hamsters are adorable, full of seemingly infinite energy, and need very little maintenance! Those reasons alone are enough to make them a good choice for your child, although they have plenty other positives about them.

They are an incredible first pet for children to be introduced to. They are cheap, easy to maintain, don’t need that much space, and above all else, are insanely simple pets to care for. Additionally, these pets can be a great introduction pet for families in general, not just children. However, even though they can’t give you the same amount of affection as a cat or dog can, they can still snuggle, be your friend, and listen to you.

In any case, hamsters might not be ideal for every family, as they are nocturnal and might be too noisy, will chew on wires if given the chance, and generally aren’t everyone’s first pet choice.

Guinea Pigs 

Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs are one of the most common child-friendly pets available. Not only do they have less of a chance to bite and hamsters, they also take up much less space than cats or dogs, yet they love spending time with their owners. Guinea pigs are like bigger sized rats that are much more cuddly than them. Guinea pigs typically don’t give their owners nearly as much trouble as other pets do and can be much more manageable than them. 

Guinea pigs still do require certain needs. They need an enclosure large enough that’s safe for them, high quality food and fresh water, bedding, and interaction. Guinea pigs love being social, so they definitely appreciate some one-on-one time with their owners. Because they are social, they also prefer to be kept in pairs than live alone. Guinea pigs might need more space than you think, so it’s important to make enough room for them if you are interested in them.

Regular responsibilities including the cage cleaning, grooming, and having sufficient food, plenty of fresh water, and a spacious and clean environment.

The good thing about guinea pigs is that their overall cost is much cheaper than other pets. Other than the initial costs, their food and bedding is pretty affordable, so you shouldn’t have to struggle paying the bills with one of these pets.

With all of the above said, guinea pigs can still be not ideal for everyone. They can be easily frightened, so it’s important that you show your children how to properly handle them so that they can learn to enjoy each other’s company. 

Best Pets For 12-Year-Old Kids

Final Words: 

Having a pet at home will teach your 12-year-old plenty about responsibility, care, learning how to follow a schedule, and can even help them feel less depressed. Pets offer even more benefits than that, so they can truly be an impactful and positive part of their lives.

Small pets can be easier to handle and take care of rather than larger ones. Giving them a pet that they have a vested interest in will help increase their chances of getting along well with it. 

Although your choice is based on both you and your child’s preferences, it will be still a good idea that you should at least do some research about these animals prior to even considering purchasing one.

Hopefully, our article helps you not only for your research, but also for choosing the best pets for your 12-years-old kids.