Best pets for kids | Daily News


Best pets for kids

It is hard to find a child that does not dream of having a pet. Childhood just is not complete without a trusted, animal companion at your side. There is also plenty for parents to love about pets too. They can teach your children responsibility, and studies have even found that children with pets have stronger immune systems than those without.

However, choosing the perfect pet for your child can be difficult.

Dogs and cats are the most common, but there are tons of other species to consider as well. To help you narrow down the playing field, we’ve put together this list of the ten best pets for children. We recommend you carefully consider your living situation and your child’s age to determine what pet is the best fit for your family.


Dogs are likely the most stereotypical pet for children – and there is a reason for that. Most average-sized dogs are large enough to avoid being injured by your child, but many breeds are also calm and laidback with children. Canines easily live to a decade, so you should not have to worry about having that uncomfortable conversation with your child.

This species is also trainable and can usually go anywhere your child can, so they make good everyday companions.

However, dogs also need quite a bit of care. They are going to need chew toys to prevent them from chewing on your furniture and a high-quality dog collar. Children should not be expected to take care of a pet all by themselves – most of them will need help with this everyday care.


Cats are also a pretty common pet for children. They are large enough to avoid being injured by an accident-prone toddler and also make wonderful companions.

They live long lifespan and are also playful. However, cats do not typically require as much maintenance as dogs. They do not need to be walked or bathed, and cats are usually more than okay with being left alone.

Still, cats are not perfect for everyone. Cats cannot keep up with an energetic child as easily as a dog can and are not typically “run around in the yard” pets. They also need quite a bit of equipment, just like dogs. They need scratching posts and plenty of toys. Cats will also need a litter box, which can take up quite a bit of floor space.


Turtles can make the perfect pet if you want something low maintenance and quiet. They are peaceful and calm. Though they are small, many can also handle quite a bit of handling. Turtles have notoriously long lifespan. While this means that you don’t have to worry about your child losing their childhood pet any time soon, it also means that you should be prepared to take care of this pet for a long time.

Turtles do need a very specific enclosure, however, and they need to spend most of their time in this enclosure. All of the equipment needed for this enclosure can get expensive. Your turtle will need a filter, large tank, heat lamp, and other equipment depending on their species. Luckily, most of this is a one-time cost. After initial set up, turtles do not require much.


Fish are often the ideal pet for small children. They require little upkeep and attention, and fish typically do not take up much room. They are quiet and can provide a listening ear for your children when you need them. If you are looking for a pet that does not require much work on your part, then this pet might be for you.

However, fish do take up quite a bit more work than you might expect. For example, goldfish cannot live in small bowls for very long, and their typical lifespan is ten years, though they can live up to 25. They can grow to be very large and need a tank to match. Betta fish require equally as big of a tank to live their full lifespan.


Birds are a good choice for older children who are not interested in having a cat or a dog. They require a bit of maintenance and care, but birds are mostly contained to their cage and do not require the training that a dog would need. Birds also are quite full of personality and can be entertaining for children who have grown out of roughhousing. Not all species of birds are good for children. Smaller birds typically take up less room and are easier for children to handle. However, all bird species are different. It will make owning a bird far easier for you if you carefully research different species and choose one that best fits into your family.


Hamsters are cute, lively, and need little maintenance. They are a great first pet for older children who have already proven that they are responsible enough to regularly care for a pet. They do not require that much room and you won’t have to worry about cleaning pet hair off your couch. They are a great choice for families who want a pet but are not quite ready to commit to a cat or a dog.

Still, hamsters are not good for all families. They are nocturnal and are notorious for biting when mishandled. They require specialized care, much like the fish and turtle. One of the biggest investments you’ll need to make with a hamster is a cage, which can be expensive and take up quite a bit of room.

- petlifetoday


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