A well-loved pet is part of growing up for many children, and having an animal in the family is a great way to teach kids about responsibility, too. Picking an animal that your kids can bond with (and that isn’t too hard to look after) makes for a perfect match; your children get an animal they can play with, but which doesn’t need constant care and attention. Here are a few of the best animals friends you can get for your children, along with the reasons why they make such great pets.
It might surprise you, but rats are one of the best pets you can get for a kid. They’re very clean animals and sociable compared to many other pets; rats are both active and affectionate. While you’ll need to get a large cage, rats take up much less space than rabbits and they’re much easier to play with – they don’t mind being picked up, and your kids will quickly grow to love them. They’re also easy to care for, needing only a little food and water each day, and they’re relatively cheap to buy and keep. Bear in mind that these little critters need company, so plan on getting a couple of them.
Cats are probably the most popular pet in the whole of the UK, and with good reason. They’re affectionate (when they want to be) and happy to play with kids, but don’t need as much looking after as many other pets. While they’re more expensive than smaller animals, cats are also long-lived and quickly become part of the family. Bear in mind that while a kitten will bond well with kids, it’s very easy for young children to harm or frighten them accidentally. If you have children under 5, make sure they’re very careful with the kitten, and that they’re well-supervised.
These little rodents make great pets for kids because they’re often happy to interact with humans. Rabbits are generally skittish and unhappy to be handled, and hamsters are nocturnal – kids will be disappointed to find their beloved pet asleep all day. Guinea pigs are, like rats, fairly cheap and easy to keep, but they too are sociable animals and need company. Buy a few guinea pigs so they don’t get lonely, and they’ll provide an endless source of entertainment for you and your kids.