How to choose a pet for your child

Have contact with Pets can do very well for child development. Pet options abound, from the traditional ones like dogs, cats, fish, birds or rabbits to more exotic animals like turtles and iguanas. However, it is necessary to be aware when choose a pet for your child, as there are several factors to be analyzed.

The first thing parents should consider is that no matter how much the child promises to care, she cannot be fully responsible for the animal. The child can help change the water, feed the pet, walk around and of course play with him. But as she is still dependent on her parents for most tasks, she will also need help with the pet.

Therefore, the decision to buy or adopt a pet should be discussed in the family and the responsibility for cleaning, food and animal health shared between adults and children.

Then you have to try to define what kind of animal can be the best companion for the child, remembering that there is one animal for each family profile. If you want to have a companion animal at home, for example, it is best to give preference to someone who is not very agitated, such as cats, which are naturally 'quiet'.

Much of the animal's personality depends on how it is reared, but the behavioral nature of the animal must also be assessed. Talking to other people who already have the pet and experts in the field can help.

Cats are more independent than dogs and adapt well in apartments or homes without a yard, as they live far from the street. If the family expects a more participatory animal, it is best to bet on dogs.

In small spaces, the tip is to prefer smaller and quieter dogs such as poodle, lhasa apso and shih-tzu. Other dog breeds suitable for children are: beagle, miniature schnauzer, pug, boxer, golden retriever, labrador and sheepdog.

Larger and guard dogs such as pitbull and rotweiller may not be good options for dealing with children as they may have unexpected reactions.

As for cats, any breed is suitable for children and the behavior of the pet will depend on the breeding. The only difference is that long hairs require more care with brushing, which should be done daily.

For young children in the age of 3 with poor care skills, for example, freshwater fish and birds are ideal alternatives. Rabbit, guinea pig and turtle also make the list of recommended animals for children. As for the hamster, it is important to remember that he has nocturnal habits and during the day, when the child wants to play, the pet will prefer to sleep.

If you choose to adopt an animal, be prepared to accept his personality and be aware of the responsibility assumed. Unfortunately, many people still adopt the pet and then leave.

Researching the space the animal needs is another very important tip. There are small dogs, but they need space to run and play. Others are large but very quiet.

Resist your child's calls and attempts to persuade pet shop vendors. Remember that that cute puppy will grow up and that when you buy or adopt an animal, you bring home a package that includes food and maintenance costs, time and availability to take care of the pet. And remember: pay attention and only buy legalized animals.

The Best Pets For Kids (April 2021)

  • Children and adolescents
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