There comes a time in every parent’s life when their kids will ask for a pet. But what’s the best pet for kids?
Here are a few things to think about right off the bat:
- Your child’s age, abilities, and daily schedule.
- Where you live.
- Will it be a dog or a cat?
Your Child’s Abilities
Your child’s age, abilities and daily schedule should be the first things you think about when considering a pet. The younger (or the busier) he is, the less time he will have to take care of a dog or cat.
If your kid is 10 to 12, the time for a puppy or kitten may be perfect. Try fostering a pet first to see which type of pet suits your child and the household well.
Being a foster family is the perfect rehearsal for bringing a dog or cat into the family full time. Fostering is a great way to pay it forward and teach your kids about the value of being a volunteer.
The best type of pet for your family also depends on where you live. Puppies that are being house trained need to go outside about every two hours or so until they are older and can hold their bladder and colon.
If you are in the country with space for an outside kennel, a puppy would be a great choice even with a busy family because that kennel gives her the ability to be outside at will. Another great possibility is a dog door that both a cat and dog can use. Make sure it can be locked from the inside at night to keep other critters out of the house.
For city dwellers, a kitten or cat would be perfect. Cats are more self-sufficient than dogs and fit a busy family schedule with ease.
Is There a Perfect Pet?
Other than a mechanical parakeet, there really isn’t any one perfect pet.
Their needs must fit into the family like a piece in a puzzle. If you’re considering a specific breed, think about …
- Size at adulthood.
- Exercise needs.
- Cost of upkeep including grooming and vet care.
Breed traits should also play into your decision as well. For example, long hair will need more grooming than one with short hair. And look into the kinds of medical issues a specific breed may have. These issues must also be played against what your child is willing to do to care for a pet.
What do you think is the best pet for kids?
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com