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Pets are an absolute joy to have in your life. That’s entirely true, until you end up with one that’s a bad fit for your children.
If you’re considering getting a pet for your home and have children, make sure it’s friendly and easy to take care of by your kids too. In this guide, we’ll take a look at easy pets to take care of for kids so that you can teach your kids about the responsibilities of pet ownership. You shouldn’t have to worry about taking care of the pet while you’re away, since the animals in this list are kid-friendly pets.
Before all that, you have to know the proper steps towards choosing and introducing your new pet to your child or children.
Check out our guide below!
How to Choose Easy Pets to Take Care of For Kids
The first thing you must consider is if your child is ready for the pet or not. You can’t expect very young children to fully take care of any pet, but depending on their age, they can at least help partially care for it.
Sometimes, certain children aren’t yet ready for a pet. As much as you might to get a pet for your kids, if they aren’t ready for it or can’t provide any level of care, then the parents are going to be fully dealing with every aspect of them.
For most pets, the parent is still the one who has to schedule for annual vet checkups, buy the food, and much more. It’s easy to see that as much as your child might be ready for a pet, you too also have to be ready.
How Do I Know if My Child is Ready for Pet Ownership?
- Your child must be obedient and able to follow instructions. Depending on the age of the child, he or she should do as told. This helps a lot when it comes to caring for a pet. The child will follow your instructions on how to care for the pet.
- Your child should also be gentle. You might find that some kids might be pretty rough with certain pets. The pet probably doesn’t know that it’s a child, nor cares if they are. If they’re uncomfortable around anyone, they’ll react according. They may end up biting or harming your child. Always teach your children to be gentle with pets.
- Responsibility is an important part of taking care of a pet. Ideally, your child should be knowledgeable about at least some responsibilities before introducing a pet. At some point, your child should be able to take care of the pet, even if only partially.
Choosing the First Pet
Before you can introduce some easy pets to take care of for kids in your home, consider starting small. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your children by getting a huge pet that they can’t handle. Starting with smaller pets will help give you an idea of your child’s capacity and ability to care.
Sometimes, you can volunteer at a shelter with your child, which can be a great way to introduce them to care for and be around animals. This helps give your child experience which will help them decide if they can take care of the pet they’re interested in. It’s a great “practice run” for pet ownership!
Find out what qualities in an animal that your child likes. Doing so will help you find a pet that’s best suited for your child. Plus, the last thing you want is to force your son or daughter to care for a pet they don’t like or enjoy.
Top 10 Easy Pets to Take Care of For Kids
Overall, ferrets have always been energetic and adorable pets that children will love. They can be filled with curiosity, just like children, which make them both much more likely to have a great time playing around.
If you plan on keeping a ferret as a pet, ensure that the home or enclosure is ferret-proof. This is because they tend to get caught behind or underneath things. Ferrets are often recommended for homes where kids are over 12 years of age.
You should consider taking them for an annual checkup once ferrets are over 5 years old. Additionally, their lifespan can be about 6 to 13 years. These pets have the potential to be your children’s pet for more than a decade!
Hedgehogs are quite an interesting animal to look at! Their back is covered with sharp quills that help to protect itself from predators. At first glance, not many parents would be comfortable with such a potentially dangerous pet around their kids. However, hedgehogs are still fairly tame creatures and won’t typically be aggressive towards your kids, as long as they are treated with care and respect.
Hedgehogs will rarely attack their owners. Once your child understands how to properly care for the hedgehog, you should never have to worry about it using its quills aggressively or in defense. As for the child’s age, you should consider hedgehogs only for children over the age of 12.
The pet will need regular cage cleaning and enough water and food as part of maintenance. Their diet consists of creepy crawlies and bugs, so if your child is not comfortable with that aspect of it, then maybe you should take a look at some of our other pets that are easy to take care of on this list. The lifespan of a hedgehog is 3 to 8 years.
Rabbits can be adorable animals to keep as pets. You will find that children find it very easy to socialize with rabbits because they are not only interesting, but are beautiful creatures. There are many breeds of rabbits in the world, ranging from different colors and sizes. Depending on what you like, consider getting one that best fits your child’s personality and capacity to care. Remember, start small!
Rabbits are sociable and gentle, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them posing a threat to your children. However, they are capable of biting or nipping you, but will typically only do so in defense. As long as you are gentle with rabbits, you should rarely run into issues with aggression.
With that said, when your kids are playing with it, make sure someone is supervising. Kids love to pull and poke things, so the last thing you want is for your pet rabbit to be subjected to unnecessary abuse. Communicate your children that you should never pull on them or do anything to make them upset or startled.
As part of maintenance, you should aim for brushing them daily if possible, or at least a few times a week. Clean its cage and ensure it gets enough hay as part of its diet. With the right care, rabbits have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years.
Hamsters are small and furry animals that are part of our list of easy pets to take care of for kids.
Not only are there several different breeds of hamsters, but you’ll find them to be extremely affordable pets to buy and they’re just as cheap to maintain. When it comes to maintenance, hamsters need a regular supply of food. Its food typically contains fresh grains, corn, seeds, and nuts, or more. Usually, their food will be in pellet form. Always make sure you give them fresh water every day. You’ll also have to buy bedding and keep their cage clean.
As much as hamsters are easy to care for, ensure that your children are gentle with them, as they can get aggressive sometimes. Consider adult supervision each time your child interacts with the hamster, at least initially until they become better accustomed to caring and playing with it.
You’ll also need plenty of accessories for them so they can get exercise, stay comfortable, and grow up to be a healthy, happy, and great hamster! Their lifespan is typically 1-3 years, depending on the breed and level of care.
Yes, parakeets can be also part of the many easy pets to take care of for kids! They can be talkative, cheerful, and colorful. These are all things that your kids will love. Parakeets are also known to be affectionate and will easily cuddle up with or near a person they trust. There are over 100 species of parakeets, so we’re sure you can find one that’s ideal for you and your children’s preference.
As part of owning a parakeet, you’ll have to learn about the bird’s personality. Parakeets require a lot of time and learning, but as long as your child is patient and dedicates time to it, they’ll both grow to enjoy each other’s company.
There are many different types of parakeets, such as the budgerigar aka “Budgie”, Monk Parakeet, Plain Parakeet, and more! Their life expectancy ranges depending on the type of species, but expect parakeets to live from 5-20 years. This is definitely a long-term pet commitment, so make sure your child understands that fully.
If your child has ever been interested in reptiles, you should definitely consider turtles as part our list of easy pets to take care of for kids. We have always found turtles to be affectionate, entertaining, and fairly low-maintenance pets. Although, turtles will definitely live longer than most other pets on this list. So, when you get a turtle as a pet for your child, it can end up being a lifetime companion for them. This is because turtles have a lifespan of 10-80 years! Some turtles live over 100 years, which is absolutely incredible!
Turtles are generally silent and laid back pets. Your children will enjoy observing and feeding them. Turtles don’t “play” in the typical sense, but you can still interact with them and spend time with them. Not only are they entertaining to watch and spend time with, but it will help them be more accustomed to their owners. Turtles typically won’t be aggressive, so as long as your child is gentle and takes proper care, this should rarely be an issue, if ever. Its shell might be tough and sturdy, but turtles are still vulnerable to disease and injury if not properly cared for.
Not much is expected in terms of maintenance. Keep their water clean, give them plenty of room, ensure they have a proper and safe heat source, and feed them a well balanced diet.
Gerbils can be extremely adorable and cute animals to keep as pets. With about 110 species of gerbils around, your child should easily be able to pick one that he/she likes.
Gerbils are very low-maintenance when it comes to other animals, and they don’t need much money to maintain either. People have been keeping gerbils as pets for more than 50 years, so there’s a good reason why people love them. Once your gerbil becomes accustomed to you and their environment, they’ll rarely be aggressive. In fact, they’ll even enjoy some light cuddles, and will have a total blast playing with your children.
Gerbils also have the added bonus of being very clean animals, and usually have very little waste. Not only is this great for your children if they are responsible for cleaning their cage, but it also means in the event that the parents are cleaning the cage, it’ll still be easy and clean.
Gerbils typically live 2-7 years, depending on the breed. If your child loves little furry and cute creatures, definitely consider a gerbil!
For someone on a budget, then getting yourself a fish for your kids can be an ideal option too. Fishes are very easy pets to take care of for kids since they do not have a lot of maintenance needs.
Fish are also versatile pets, and you can get hundreds of different kinds of fish. You can get fish you can keep indoors, or you can get outdoor fish and keep them in a pond outside year-round. As a first introduction pet to your children, one you can keep in a fish bowl might be a better option for you.
So long as you keep the fish’s environment clean and regularly feed them, there’s not much else to do. Fish don’t eat a lot of food, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of food in most cases.
To make the aquarium or their fishbowl more visually appealing, you may consider including water plants and other decorations, such as rocks. Many fish prefer places to hide that mimic their original environment, so including things like this can be very beneficial for them.
Fish are a great introduction pet about teaching children about the various responsibilities of being a pet owner. Why not start with fish?
How could we forget about including dogs as easy pets to take care of for kids. Everyone knows that dogs can be loyal, adorable, and manageable when compared to other pets. Whenever you have a dog around children, most kids will love interacting and playing with it. Dogs are known to help prevent depression, improve your mood, and much more. Not only that, but they can actually protect your children and can safeguard your home, too.
There are many types of dogs available that need homes. They can either be small, medium, or big, and they’ll come in a wide variety of coats and colors. Maybe you might want a smaller dog for your child, especially one who doesn’t shed too much. If this sounds like you, check out our list here.
Before you get a dog for your children, you should consider the dog’s temperament. Some are known to be great, especially for kids, while others might not be the best fit. Take your time and do proper research to find out different dog breeds and their personalities, so that you can find one that’ll be a perfect fit for your children.
Cats are also social animals, just like dogs. They can still be enjoyed for their company, and many happy cat owners would agree. They love to cuddle, which is something kids also love. For many people, cats can be a joy to have in your life. You should also consider the cat’s temperament, as not all of them are great with kids. There are tons of breeds of cats, with some being great for children with special needs, too! Some breeds include Persian, Ragdoll, Bombay, American Bobtail, and much more!
Taking care of cats are relatively straightforward. They’ll let you know when they’re hungry, and are very good at communicating with people. You just have to ensure they get regular medical care, toys, fresh water/food, and the relevant vaccination.
The next time you’re looking for easy pets to take care of for your kids, you should have a general idea of what to look for.
There might be a wide variety of animals available, but you need to consider the level of preparedness of your children before carefully choosing the perfect one. Some pets might need more work than others. So, as a parent, you should also factor this into your decision.