What are the best pets for kids by age? Glad you asked. Choosing the right pets for children based on their age helps ensure his or her first pet experience is successful.
A quick word of caution first for parents of kids under age 6: This group generally isn't capable of understanding a pet's needs and caring for it properly.
So when it comes to younger children, realize that a new pet is truly your new baby. Don't go into the situation with false expectations. That's not fair to the kid or the pet. That said, here are several of the best pets for kids by age group.
This is a good age for pets that are confined to a cage so that kids can enjoy watching them, and parents control when it comes out of the cage.
Because most animals aren't too keen on having their ears tugged, tail pulled, or sharing their food, a tolerant pet and a physical boundary, such as a cage, is essential.
That, and good supervision of pet-child interactions, is essential to a successful first-time pet experience.
Good family pets here include guinea pigs, gerbils, rats, and hamsters. (Get more information on the care and feeding regimen for these easy pets.)
School age kids are able to develop a bit more responsibility for a pet and can adequately care for - with help from parents:
These pets offer the added benefit of being easy to care for and offer more opportunities for child-pet interaction.
At this point, kids can begin taking more responsibility for the care and feeding of their pet.
This is also the time to stress important pet hygiene and safety. (Read more about preventing zoonotic diseases here.)
Once these gradeschool-age kids begin showing they can handle the added pet-care responsibility, when they're a bit older, they can move on to a larger pet.
(See Pet Chores for Kids by Age to get ideas on what pet responsibilities kids can handle at various ages.)
These tweens are morphing into little teenagers, who can handle the responsibility of feeding, exercising, and cleaning up after their animals. Good pet ideas here include dogs, cats, and rabbits.
This is the time to allow teenagers to have a pet bird or fish aquarium. Because you're there to ensure these more care-intensive pets get the care and feeding they require, it can prove to be a great learning experience for everyone.
Once you've matched a child by age with the right animal, these 9 Pet Safety Tips for Kids can help ensure everyone in your home stays safe under the new arrangement.