If your kids want pets, they should have them. It’s not spoiling them – it’s teaching them a life lesson. The best time to instill values in humans is when they are in their early childhood and formative years. Instead of looking at a pet as a gift look at it as a way to teach them to be loving, selfless, and kind to all creatures. The type of pet will depend on the animals your child has an affinity for as well as what the entire family is prepared to handle.
Fish can be easy to take care of although their tanks require cleanup and maintenance. If you do get a fish as a pet, please don’t put it in a small bowl. Even a single fish requires a five-gallon tank. So, if you’re okay with spending some money up front for equipment, a fish is a worthy household pet.
Rodents are often favored by people just getting acquainted with pets. They don’t require a ton of room and they don’t have to be housetrained for the most part. They can live in an enclosure for most of their lives and they don’t eat a lot. They’re certainly not costly to take care of; most of your money will go to up-front costs such as a cage and toys. Lifetime costs will go towards bedding and possible medical care. They can be affectionate, too, although they won’t be a good animal to cuddle up with in bed.
Cats get a bad rap for being snobby but they are very affectionate animals when they love and trust their family. They are very easy to housetrain as they naturally will be drawn to their litter box. They’re clean and they don’t get into much mischief – just the random object knocked off a table.
Many people are severely allergic to cats. Before taking the plunge to adopt a cat permanently try fostering a cat in need. Go to a shelter to handle the cats. Make it a family event – each member can test out their sensitivity to cats.
Plenty of abandoned reptiles need new families and these animals are a wonderful addition to any home. They can live in a glass enclosure and they don’t eat too much. Many small reptiles eat a varied diet of plants and insects making it easy to feed them. While they aren’t affectionate in the normal sense of the word they often can be held and petted.
For some kids only a dog will do. So, go adopt one! Fortunately, there are many dogs with temperaments suitable for a child-filled household. Golden retrievers and beagles are very kid-friendly. A dog requires a lot of care, love, and attention so this is the ultimate test of responsibility. What your children will get in return is a best friend they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Your children’s best friend is waiting for them at the local shelter. Rescue groups often have a variety of animals. They can also advise you on the animal that is best suited to your household. Additionally, many rescue groups will allow you to foster a certain animal for a period of time so that you can get acquainted with the animal. If your family hasn’t had a pet before, fostering is the best option. There is no commitment involved and you can get a feel for what your family is capable of handling.
By Gabrielle Allemeier
About the Author
Gabrielle Allemeier volunteers her free time as an animal rescuer and foster pet parent. As an animal lover, she enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gained from her experience with a variety of animals. Along with being an animal lover, Gabrielle is a globetrotter. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her terrier, Thisbe.