Allowing small children to have pets is a great way to teach them responsibility. The love and care they develop towards their pets will help them become more patient and kind.
But kids are sometimes too immature to properly take care of some small animals. Some pets may not be able to suffer the stress of over-handling.
Children need proper guidance to care for their pets. It is important that the personality of the child matches with the pet for them to play together. Here are some of the best small pets for kids:
This can prove to be a very interesting pet for a calm child. They are social, active little creatures.
Their five sets of legs allow them to quickly crawl about. They are especially active in the evenings and watching them burrow in the sand, crawl on top of rocks or investigate their surroundings is a delight for many kids.
They are not a very ‘handled’ pet as they stay in their terrariums. Just feeding them and spending a little time with them is enough. Some kids are especially amused by the chirping sound a hermit crab makes sometimes.
A fish is a great choice as a pet for small kids. Since they stay in the water, your kids will not need to handle it and can watch the fish through the glass of the tank or bowl. Having a tank full of fishes is also not a problem but care should be taken that the fish are regularly fed and the tank is kept clean.
Betta fish are particularly easy to manage. Their vibrant colors make them very appealing to small children. Betta fish come in shades of red, green, orange and violet. However, only one Betta fish per tank. They are known to fight.
Guinea pigs are a great starter pet for children ranging from five to ten years old.
Guinea pigs can weigh up to 3 pounds and are available in many colors and patterns. They can be kept in a portable enclosure where they can sleep, hide or run about. It is better to supervise your child when he wants to hold the guinea pig in his/her hands so that neither of the two gets hurt.
Hamsters are cute, furry and extremely friendly pets to keep. They are easily manageable and can be very amusing.
It is better to get a hamster if your child is eight years of age or older. Hamsters are noisy at night and spend most of their daytime sleeping. They can become grumpy and may even bite if awakened or disturbed by poking fingers. It is better if your child is old enough to understand not to annoy the little critter too much.
Rabbits are good pets for small kids. They can weigh between 2 to 13 pounds and are suitable for children that are eight years and older.
A specially made enclosure can be kept in your house. Rabbits are available in many colors and sizes and may have different ear lengths. They are very cuddly, but too much cuddling can scare your pet. As they need lots of exercise, you can train your pet outdoors to exercise using a leash and collar.