Bringing a pet into your home can be a wonderful experience, especially if you have children. However, not all children are old enough to responsibly care for a pet. For especially young children, it can be difficult to select the right type of pet for your home. Certain types of pets are more suitable for households that have young children. Owning a pet at a young age can help teach children responsibility, and can be fun as well! Here are a few tips to help you to choose the right pet for a household with younger children.
Fish are one of the best pets for younger children, and are often referred to as a great “start-up” pet. Though the starting cost of a fishtank and its supplies can be a bit pricey, small fishtanks are relatively inexpensive to maintain. The main thing that your child needs to realize is that they must not overfeed their fish. If your child is very young, it's best to leave duties such as water testing and changing the filter to an adult. However, you can teach your children how to clean the tank, which is a great way to build responsible pet care skills.
Hermit crabs are another great pet for households with younger children. Hermit crabs can be fun for children to interact with, and most hermit crabs don't mind being touched on a regular basis. It's even possible to give your hermit crab some basic training, which can be a fun activity for younger children. In most cases, you will need to teach your child to feed and water their hermit crab every day, and clean the cage at least once per month. Hermit crabs are relatively clean pets, and don't produce an excess of waste.
The Budgerigar parakeet is one of the most popular types of birds sold in the United States. These active birds are fairly easy to care for, and can be very entertaining for young children to watch. Male budgies are especially good at mimicry, and can be taught to learn many different types of words. Budgies are very energetic, and may spend a lot of time preening or flying around their cage. It's best if you teach young children how to refill the feeding and water dishes, though not to handle their bird. Any handling of a budgie should be done by an adult.