Buying your child’s first pet can be a daunting experience. You wonder whether it’s the right decision, whether the child is ready for such a commitment and whether the novelty will last long enough to see this new life through. Children thrive off the companionship of pets and the responsibility that comes with it, whether it is a life-time promise with a tortoise or a short-term pledge with a mouse. So, what pet do you opt for? Below are the top five popular choices for children’s first pets and why they are so favourable.
Fish tanks come in all different shapes, sizes and themes which spark interest in the little ones instantly. Not a huge financial commitment for parents either, they make a fantastic first-time pet. Goldfish tanks don’t take up a lot of room and can be easily cleaned out (although it is not to be advised to let children attempt this by themselves as the tanks are heavy and the fish need to be moved into a temporary tank) and although they have a fairly short life-span, they are cheap to replace.
Fluffy, cute and easy-going, hamsters remain a popular choice with children as pets. Kids can spend hours playing with their hamsters, cleaning them out, buying new runs for the cage and trying out new toys that can be bought with their pocket money. Such fun little companions, they also do not cost a lot to keep. A hamster doesn’t live very long which does introduce the child to a spot of heartache if it were to die but can be affordably replaced.
3) Leopard Geckos
Although financially geckos take more to purchase, once set up in their vivarium they can live quite happily for over twenty years! It takes very little effort to maintain a leopard gecko as they only need cleaning out up to twice a month and they need very little accessories. They do, however, require live food as they live on crickets, meal worms or flies so that is a factor to consider.
Mice are the ultimate first pet as they are cheap to buy, set up and maintain, require very little or no handling and take up very little room. They are so cute and are particularly favoured by little girls looking for charming bedroom companions.
This option isn’t recommended for those not in a financial or time-allowing position. Puppies take a lot of hard work when training but as a result it can teach your children about important responsibilities. Puppies grow up to be extremely loyal friends which your child can grow to count on whenever they’re around. It is important to seek as much advice as possible before you rescue or buy your first puppy so you don’t miss out on important factors such as the micro-chipping and insurance.