5 Interesting Pets to Consider for Your Kids ...

At some point in their lives your children will come to you and ask for a pet...and yes they will keep asking until they get one! But what if you live in the city and don't have room for a dog or live in an apartment where dogs and cats are not allowed? Even if you live in an ideal place for a dog, your kids might not be ready for the responsibility of a pet like that. Guest blogger Jane Warren from Pamper the Petsis here with us today to share 5 Interesting Pets to Consider for Your Kids, some you may not have thought about....
5 Great Pets You Might Not Have Considered...
**Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. **-Colette

Perhaps no image is more iconic than that of a child and his dog. Children and animals are natural companions, and your child can learn much from having a furry, feathery or scaly friend. Although dogs are the quintessential childhood pet and children's first pets are often hamsters or gerbils, there are several other excellent pet options for children that you might not have even considered. These 5 pets are relatively low maintenance, safe for most children and can be great substitutes for dogs and other maintenance-intensive pets.

1. Chinchillas...

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Chinchillas are medium-sized rodents that look like fat squirrels. Friendly, inquisitive and highly social, they are excellent choices for children who love furry animals but who can't get a dog. They require little daily maintenance, but love spending time out of their cages. With careful socialization, they can bond strongly with their owners. Parents should note that chinchillas need large cages and can be messy, but a few minutes each day with a vacuum will eliminate dust, bedding and other messes shed from your chinchilla's cage.

2. Guinea Pigs...

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Guinea pigs are popular classroom pets and for good reason. These small mammals are friendly, easily tamed and generally fairly low maintenance. They require an appropriately sized cage and time spent out of their cage every day, but they are neither messy nor expensive. They can also bond with their owners and provide much of the same affection that children receive from dogs and cats.

3. Turtles and Tortoises...

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Tortoises are land turtles while turtles--with the exception of box turtles--live in water. While some turtles and tortoises grow quite large and require extensive care, small box turtles and water turtles can make excellent pets for children. These animals do require large enclosures, but once their enclosures are set up, they require very little maintenance. Both turtles and tortoises tend to be friendlier than other reptiles and are unlikely to bite your child. Unlike dogs and cats, they don't require items like greenies dental chews, toys, collars, and leashes.

4. Snakes...

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Although many parents are instantly repulsed by the mere thought of a snake, snakes can actually make excellent pets for older children. Small snakes are unlikely to cause harm even if they do bite, and well-socialized snakes bond strongly with their owners. Even better, snakes require very little maintenance and many snakes only need to be fed once every few weeks. While many parents are concerned about the idea of feeding snakes mice and other live foods, most snake experts now advise feeding pre-killed frozen food, which means feeding your child's snake is no more gross than feeding a dog. Especially for parents who are put off by cat litter boxes, wee wee pads for dogs, and the numerous other "inconveniences" that come along with dogs and cats, a snake can make an ideal pet.

5. Lizards...

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Some lizards, especially geckos and bearded dragons, are both low maintenance and capable of bonding with their owners. Children over 5 can learn to safely handle these animals, and lizards rarely require expensive veterinary care. They also are unlikely to suffer if they're not given much attention, making them an ideal choice for busy families and easily distracted children.

When choosing a pet for your child, it's important to consider his/her maturity level, your ability to care for the animal, and your child's specific desires for a pet. Think outside the box and consider non-traditional pets. You just might find a new best friend for your child.

About the Author

Jane Warren is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle and pet care topics. A dedicated animal rescuer, she's convinced animal people know where she lives, as she's had several pets dropped off at her home! Find out more at her blog www.pamperthepets.com.

Top Photo

Please rate this article
(click a star to vote)