Pets are often used as a way to teach children about responsibility and can be useful in educating children in other life lessons too. Children are often craving a pet of their own, but it’s important to make sure they are ready and that they understand the importance of the role they are about to take on. It’s also vital that parents accept the amount of work that they too will need to do. Children might not be able to perform all the tasks to the desired level, there will be vet visits and a whole lot of maintenance that will need to be carried out when the child falls ill or loses interest.
There are all sorts of pets to choose from and it’s important to carry out the right research to find the right one to add to your family. Learn about the daily routine of the pet, some are only active at night for example. Research the feeding, cleaning, exercise, grooming, activity level and their housing needs. Be sure to involve your child in all the research steps, informing and educating as you go along. It’s a good idea to visit a petting zoo or local rescue centre along with the local library to find books and use the Internet (you’ll find plenty of useful articles right here on our blog). Ask friends about their pets and the pros and cons for the type of pet they have chosen.
Here are some of the popular pet choices that children are often keen to start with.
Note that rabbits are friendly, social and intelligent animals that can live up to 10 years or more. It is important that rabbits have a good diet and have plenty of space to move, jump, stretch and hop, regardless of whether you keep them indoors or outside in a rabbit hutch. Guinea pigs also need space too, so avoid buying the smaller hutches that are shockingly commonly on sale in many of the UK pet stores.
What was your first pet? Is your child ready for theirs? Come and tell us over on our Facebook page.