What animals are good first pets for children? I know my first pet was a small dog when I was 7, but I was wondering if there are better options than dogs.
asked 09 Dec '09, 14:03
We never had cats because my dad was allergic to them. And with so many kids in the house, mom didn't want to deal with a dog. Instead, we had a beta fish (you can have them in a bowl instead of a tank with an air filter) and later a small turtle. Both were easy to take care of and could, therefore, survive in our very busy household. The downside was that you couldn't really play with either of them. We'd take the turtle out sometimes, but the entertainment factor was pretty limited.
I'd almost recommend a gerbil or hamster, but I don't have any first-hand experience with them. They're fluffy and fun to touch, but if they get out of their habitat, you could have trouble finding them in the house.
My criteria for good firsts pets would be the following:
answered 09 Dec '09, 14:19
When we moved to where we currently live (about 5 years ago), we were considering getting a dog as my wife would be at home with our older (and then, only) daughter. However, we decided to put it off until after the Christmas for that year.
Early that New Year, one of the people at work had a stray cat dump a litter of 5 kittens on her door step, and then die. We volunteered to take two of the kittens. They were not weaned so we had to bottle feed them for the first few weeks.
Our daughter (about 2 years old) was amazingly good to them and the cats were amazingly indestructible.
As the cats grew, and another daughter came along, they have been a good pet: they can be affectionate (when they want food!), they are relatively easy to care for (we mostly just feed them dried food nuts, not canned food), and they can mostly look after themselves.
For my daughters, they get to feed the cats once a day (a cup full of "nuts") and make sure they have water.
My wife is mildly allergic to cats, but she has nearly always had cats at home, so this is only a minor issue.
answered 10 Dec '09, 01:03
At our local mall, the new trend is to buy Hermit Crabs. You can let your child pick out their own unique coloured shell for the crab to live in and the crab comes in its own little plastic habitat with water and a sleeping area. They require minimal care; food and water once a day, clean their container once a month. And they can actually be held by a child unlike a fish. Here's some hermit crab info. We are getting one for my 7 yr old autistic nephew for Christmas from a booth in our mall.
answered 09 Dec '09, 14:36
My parents had two miniature dachshunds when I was born, and they seemed to get along well with my brother and I. We also had fish when I was little, but at Artemis noted, there's not much in the way of interaction there. I also had a gerbil but those don't mix well with mini doxies.
Currently we have a cat. She's working out well with our kids because if they start to annoy her she just leaves the room. We had a Rat Terrier for a while, but, due to a variety of conditions, it didn't work out.
I'm looking at getting my son some fish just after Christmas, not so much as a pet, but to generate white noise in his bedroom since he is a light sleeper.
answered 09 Dec '09, 16:51