For young children, growing up with a pet can help them develop emotionally and mentally. It will give them a friend to share these precious early memories with and teach them valuable lessons about kindness, care, and responsibility. However, some pets are more suitable for young families than others. Finding the right kind of pet can be tough, but it’s an important decision that cannot be under researched. To help you choose the perfect pet for your young family, we’ve put together a guide with a list of the best family-friendly animals.
Dogs are the quintessential family pet. There’s a reason they’re called man’s best friend, these furry friends make for the perfect family companion and will be a treasured member of the household for many years. The type of dog you choose will depend on your personal preferences and your living situation. However, the breeds generally regarded for being the best for young children are Labradors, Poodles, Beagles, and Bulldogs.
Dogs love to play and explore, making them ideal for keeping your kids entertained. However, injuries can happen amid the excitement, which is why it’s so vital to get dog insurance and protect yourself against any possible vet bills.
Cats might not be the first choice for all when thinking of family friendly pets, but due to their low maintenance needs could be the perfect addition to a young family. Cats might not be as forthcoming with their love when compared to dogs, but they are still highly affectionate creatures that crave the love and attention of their owners.
Some cats can be grumpy, and many aren’t shy about voicing their displeasure. Use your cat to teach your children and patience and understanding. Show them that by treating the cat nicely, they’ll be treated nicely in return.
Rats evoke a negative reaction in some people. However, this reputation is unfair. Rats can be amazing first pets, they are friendly, sociable, and highly intelligent, almost like little dogs. Rats will snuggle up to their owners and even perform tricks. They can be excellent, low-maintenance pets for children that will provide hours of hilarity and entertainment. However, always remember to get more than one rat. They get lonely if alone which can lead to depression. Rats need lots of mental stimulation too, so give them plenty of toys and let them out of their cage for regular exercise.
Native to South America, guinea pigs are gentle little rodents that make for fantastic family friendly pets. They can be kept indoors or outdoors, and are incredibly peaceful and docile, making them perfect for young children who want to experience the joys of pet ownership. Like rats, guinea pigs must be kept in groups of two or more to prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
If you’re looking for a more low-maintenance option than the examples we’ve listed above, perhaps goldfish could be the right choice for your family. These hardy fish can be surprisingly engaging and entertaining, and your kids can learn about proper care and organisation when it comes to feeding and tank cleaning schedules. With the right care and attention, goldfish can lead long, happy lives of up to 15 years.
How to Find the Perfect Pet
With so many different options for pets out there, how can you possibly choose one that is right for you and your family? Sit down together and discuss what it is you’re looking for in a pet. Think about your existing commitments and responsibilities and the level of care you can commit to before making your final decision.