Having a pet is a rewarding experience for any child. It’s also a great way to teach kids valuable life lessons as they become responsible for taking care of another creature’s life. Pet ownership can teach kids the value of dependability and responsibility with an adult’s guidance. What’s even great about it is that some pets can give affection in return for your kid’s care and attention.
To help teach your child the value of accountability at a young age, here are a couple of pets that you can consider at your home.
Hamsters are a classic small pet that’s quite popular for almost every child. They require little maintenance and are trainable to use the litter. However, hamsters are nippy and can be quite aggressive. That’s why some parents aren’t comfortable to have one for their child. But if you’re keen on getting a hamster as your kid’s first pet, getting a large breed like the Syrian hamster is highly advisable.
HowStuffWorks says that hamsters need a roomy cage filled with nesting areas and tunnels for sleeping. Also, ensure that you keep it clean regularly to avoid the spread of germs and parasites. Hamsters generally live for at least three years. So, try to consider how much you think your child can interact with it. For some, three years can be long, but others may feel like it’s too short, especially once the hamster dies.
Guinea pigs belong to the same rodent family as hamsters. But their behavior is entirely the opposite. These rodents are quite gentle and docile, which makes them less likely to become aggressive. They’re also quite friendly and won’t mind getting handled as long as you do it properly.
Guinea pigs are perfect for kids who are still learning to take care of an animal. They also live twice as long as hamsters do and have massive cravings for vegetables and hay. However, they can be a messy eater. So, it would help if you taught your kids how to clean up after their mess regularly.
Another popular pet on the list is rabbits. Same with guinea pigs, rabbits are also ideal for kids because of their gentle nature. Some owners often make their dogs board and train in a training school for pets, so they could teach them how to socialize. But when it comes to rabbits, you don’t have to do much training. Also, since most rabbit breeds are smaller than dogs, you can keep them in a cage or a small area.
Rabbits can live between 8 and 12 years and are also quite trainable. They also mainly feed on vegetables, rabbit pellets, and grass hay. Parents Magazine says that future rabbit owners should either spay or neuter their pets to prevent aggression. They also require little maintenance, which makes them perfect for kids.
No matter what you choose, every pet requires the utmost commitment from your child. So, ensure that you’re always there for her to teach her how to become a responsible pet owner. Remember that pets are living creatures, too. So, they need the right amount of care and attention to survive.