When it’s time to introduce a new four-legged friend to your family, you may be wondering what would be the right choice for your kids. There is a wide range of pets available, but some are more child-friendly than others. Here is a list of our top 4 favorite pets for kids.
Everybody loves the family dog. Breeds such as golden retrievers, labradors, and Irish setters are traditional family favorites due to their high energy and mild temperament. If your space requires a smaller breed, pugs, bull terriers, and beagles make great kid-friendly choices. If allergies are a problem, choose a breed such as the poodle that has minimal shedding, or you can even find breeds such as the labradoodle that are considered hypoallergenic!
Small rodents like rats, gerbils, and hamsters make great pets for children. They are very low maintenance and require only a little space, making them a perfect choice for a child’s first pet. Rats, especially, have earned a bad rap from their wild relatives—domesticated rats are actually very affectionate and smart enough to learn their name and even a few simple tricks. However, while their size is convenient for housing, it does make these animals susceptible to being dropped and lost or injured by rough play, so smaller children should always be supervised when handling their pet.
While they may not be traditionally cute or cuddly, many types of snakes make excellent pets for children. Breeds such as the corn snake are very docile, and only need to be fed once a week! These pets are gaining in popularity and can be found in most pet stores, or you can visit a local reptile show for a wide variety of species at lower costs. Look for breeds such as the corn snake, king snake, or ball python, as these stay relatively small, and are easily tamed with a little handling.
Fish are a great staple for childhood pet. Every member of the family can enjoy a fish tank, and a simple goldfish can teach even a young child the responsibilities of caring for an animal. Small koi or beta fish can be purchased for only a few dollars at a local pet store and will live quite comfortably in a small tank for many years.