Tips to Choose your Child's first pet

Tips to Choose your Child’s first pet

Nifty Tips to choose the first pet for your child

Having pets helps children learn how to take responsibility. Self-esteem and trust also increase the development of love and care for pet animals.

Another factor in the development of a child’s nonverbal communication capacities is the good relationship between the young pet owner and his furry pal. 

It can also contribute to empathy and sympathy – two main characteristics that make people human.

Affiliate Disclosure: site uses affiliate links when applicable. This site earns from the affiliate links (at no additional cost to you).  Read Affiliate Disclosure here

Having a new pet in the family is one of the most enjoyable, fun and exciting things you can do. 

According to the findings of a survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs are the most common type of companion animal in the United States, with cats coming in a close second, then birds, and finally horses. 

Among the exotic or cage animals (which include fish, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes, and lizards), aquarium fish are chosen three times more often than their closest competitor, rabbits, and surpass other exotics by a factor of ten. 

Tips to Choose your Child's first pet

Other exotics include ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes Gerbils were the least desired pet of the bunch.

However, it can also be very hard in the beginning. Having a pet is a big change in lifestyle. In this Blog, we will articulate a few tips to help choose your child’s First pet.

How to Choose your Child’s first pet -Tips to choose a first pet for your child

Are you pet Ready?

A pet will share your life and home, and you have a lot of room in both of them. 

When My Partner & I were on the verge of getting a pet, one of our friends said don’t get a pet if you are planning to have another kid” because having a dog or a cat is almost similar to having kids…

You should choose pets that do not require much care, such as fish or reptiles for if you work long hours or your family is spent for the best part of the day at work, school, or extracurricular activities. 

A Survey of some Veterinarians and animal wineries says that box turtles, leopard geckos, and beta fish are the least demanding low-maintenance pets

Small animals such as hamsters, rabbits and pigs actually need more time and support than most people believe.

Besides time, there are many other things you need to consider; you must have an animal that fits literally into your home if you’re short on space. 

For instance, in a small flat or cluttered home, a big Husky will not fit.

Check with your landlord if you have an apartment to determine what pets you are allowed to have and what sort of weight restrictions are applicable.

Cats like Russian Blue, smaller-breed dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, cavoodles , Goldfish, birds, and many exotic pets such as hedgehogs and chinchillas are common apartment-friendly pets.

Is your Child Pet Ready?

Now you are ready to bring in the New pet for your Child, But think about if your child is ready and responsible enough to have a pet.

Your child will be responsible for the pet you bring home. But it is your job as a parent to ensure that your child stays healthy while still learning how to be a pet owner.

Answer the three questions below to determine if your family is willing to have a pet,

Is your child responsible, Old enough and willing to look after the family pet?
Are you committed to this effort to supervise him and take care of the pet?
You should only go to the next phase of the pet selection process if you answer “yes” to both of the above questions. Period!.

Begin the Journey with Small and Low-maintenance Pets.

It would be wise to start with something small when you choose your child’s first pet. Fish, rodents, birds and other caged pets are preferable as they need to meet with their owners less face-to-face.

When our daughter was around 4 yo, we started off with a bunny( Junior) as a pet member of the house. Later we had a cat(Zoee) and Now our daughter is 10yo and we have cavapoo Puppy(Rover). 

She is now responsible enough to take care of him, help feed him, pet him and also take him out for Training with her dad.

Take note of this- Even though your child is the Official owner, as an adult you are mostly responsible for all your pet’s food, water, treats, training, health and well-being. Rodents, such as hamsters and other smaller mammals, may require a little more care than, say, a goldfish, any other fish or a turtle or even a bird. 

All you need to do is feed them well and you are ready to go!.

On the other hand, Dogs( Most of them) need constant attention, petting, and Outdoor activities to keep them fit and healthy. 

If you or your child is unable to provide all these, It’s advisable not to have a dog as your child’s First pet.

Tips to Choose your Child's first pet

Top 6 Low Maintenance and small pets to consider as your Child’s 1st pet! 

  1. Chinchillas.
  2. Turtles
  3. Guinea pigs/Rabbits
  4. Goldfish.
  5. Cats. 
  6. Hamsters. 

Other animal-care professionals promote birds or fish as ideal first pets for children.

What is the most high-maintenance pet?

Dogs( Specially mixed breed sensitive breeds like cavapoo, Moodles, spoodle etc..) can be regarded as high-care pet animals because they need exercise and an adequate diet to stay healthy and regular cleaning of their environment. 

They also need physical training and mental stimulation when it comes to obedience, and behaviour signs like chewing, biting, digging, and jumping.

Also Read: Is Cavoodle a good family dog?

Consider the Personality of Your Child’s Potential First Pet

Are you having a tough time finding the right pet for your Child? The problem may be that they don’t fit the personality of your child.

For Instance, you need a pet that doesn’t easily get nervous or that is hyperactive if you have super active children. 

The most challenging combination is a fearful/too laid-back pet with a very active child Or vice versa.

Before adoption, do your homework & Research online and learn about the unique temperament, habits and requirements known to the pet breed – it’s critical, particularly when you are matching dog breeds with your children’s temperament. 

For Instance, cavoodles(a.k.a Cavapoo) are Homely, laid back and family dogs that are suitable for young and older children.  We love our Cavoodle, he is now 2.4 Years old…

Veterinarian behaviourists advise parents to take time to understand some of the Behaviours of their new Pet and match them with Child’s Temperament.

Consider Allergies Before Getting A Cat or Dog

Please don’t get any pets if you and your kids are allergic to cats or dogs. 

While you may want the pet to be rescued, if you can’t do it without coughing, sneezing, and itchy watery eyes you can’t offer the love and attention it needs. 

Tips to Choose your Child's first pet

Thankfully, some people who are allergic to dogs don’t have any symptoms when they are close to breeds that do not produce much dander like the hypoallergenic and designer dogs list that include Poodles, cavoodles, Spoodle and moodles, and Groodles and many more such breeds.

Other Considerations when getting your Child’s first pet

When picking out your child’s first pet, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The majority of kids will express interest in getting their very own pet at some point during their formative years. 

Picking the right one is a crucial step since it will lay the groundwork for the child’s future as a responsible pet owner and will contribute to the child’s development. 

The majority of professionals are in agreement that choosing the “appropriate pet” should be done as a family activity. 

It is important to strike a balance between the child’s desire to have the best possible experience with pet ownership and the busy parent’s need to respect the child’s time, energy, and financial resources while supporting the endeavour.

Together, a family should think about their way of life, their expectations, their living situation, their level of experience as pet owners, their level of spending, and whether or not there is a history of asthma or allergies in the family.

Exposure to two or more dogs or cats in the first year of life may reduce the subsequent risk of allergic sensitisation to multiple allergens during childhood, according to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and led by Dennis R. Ownby, MD, Christine Cole Johnson, PhD, and Edward L. Peterson, PhD. The study was conducted by Dennis R. Ownby, MD, Christine Cole Johnson, PhD, and Edward L. Peterson, PhD. (source) .

In addition to all of the other things that should be taken into account, adults should keep in mind that the duty for the animal will ultimately fall on them.

The safety of the child as well as the family pet should initially be discussed among members of the family, and youngsters should be reminded of this on a more regular basis based on their current level of comprehension. 

Children are naturally active and curious, and they frequently forget to behave calmly and gently when they are among animals. If they feel threatened, animals of any species, breed, or gender are capable of scratching or biting. 

This is true regardless of the labels that are attached to them. Animals, just like people, have their own unique characteristics; it is best for an adult to select a pet that is naturally well-behaved and not difficult to care for. 

The child’s level of maturity and responsibility should be taken into consideration in addition to their age when deciding what kind of pet to get them.

Key Takeaways

It is an exciting and fun time to have your child’s First pet

However, it is also time to collect information and make sure that you have a pet’s room, much needed accessories and time and that the personality of your possible pet fits your situation, your home and your Child’s activity level.

Whether it is a puppy for a growing active family, a dog for adults,a cat for a loner, a fish tank that you can spend hours looking at or a turtle that you can have for years, choose wisely to make the life you deserve for your new family member.

Check out the new Blog 25 Must have things for your new Pup

There is no consensus amongst specialists regarding which animals make the ideal companions for young children. 

According to Jennifer Graham, DVM, an associate professor of zoological companion animal medicine at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts, “small pets can be a great choice for children over the age of 5, and taking care of them teaches kids responsibility.”

Jem G- DVM

Other popular small & exotic pets include geckos and mice. Others in the animal-care industry believe that birds or fish make excellent first pets for young children.


You should give serious thought to getting your child one of these well-liked tiny pets as long as there will be plenty of supervision from an adult. 

It is of the utmost significance to make certain that they are treated carefully and are provided with the necessary care. 

Similar to guinea pigs, rabbits have a docile personality, making them suitable pets for children of a younger age; nevertheless, they are prone to breaking easily.

Rats & Mice

Because of their close genetic relationship to wild rats, pet rats are frequently misinterpreted. On the other hand, they are highly friendly, and clean, and they take pleasure in being held. 

They don’t bite very often, and thanks to their high intellect level, they can be taught almost everything. 

Rats do better when kept in pairs and require a cage that is somewhat large. 

They are able to adjust well and, in comparison to mice or dwarf hamsters, are much simpler to care for due to their greater size. There is a possibility that some male rats have a propensity to urine marks.

Guinea Pigs

The guinea pig is a gregarious animal but is also very cautious. They are most content while living in groups, are somewhat active, and require a standard amount of room. 

Guinea pigs may be tamed and handled with relative ease, and they rarely bite.


Hamsters can range in size from very little to quite enormous. The Syrian hamster, in contrast to the dwarf or Russian species, is on the larger side, making it simpler to care for.

 Hamsters are happier when they are kept alone and might be happy in a smaller cage. 

It is possible to domesticate them, however, they sleep during the day and have a very limited lifespan in comparison to other types of pets.

The RightPet Pet Ownership Study, which was carried out online between the years of 2010 and 2018, discovered that young people between the ages of 10 and 17 enjoyed owning rats Or rabbits more than they enjoyed owning cats or dogs. Kids think dogs & cats are High Maintenance and the truth is yes they are High Maintenence

Is it appropriate for children( Under 5) to keep mice, gerbils, chinchillas, or hamsters as pets?

No. Because these so-called “pocket pets” are soft and little, you might imagine that they would be a good fit for your children, who are likewise on the petite side. 

However, these rodents are typically terrified of people. It is possible to teach them to enjoy human touch if they are handled gently and frequently as babies.

However, they are frequently sold full-grown at pet stores, and parents can’t trust that young children won’t squeeze them too hard or let them out of their cage by accident, never to be seen again.

Related Articles about Pets

Related Blogs

Are you planning to get a pet for your child? 
Comment below If you have already found your furbaby and what have you named them?

Tips to Choose your Child's first pet

About the Author:

I’m Div Acharya. I’ve been a dog lover my entire life. When my daughter wanted a new Puppy I was looking for another furbaby to share my life with.

As a result of my research, I’ve come to love oodles and wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with you. Whether you’re looking to get a Puppy, or already own one, these Blogs t to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

At Pet Paws Hub, we strive to be the ultimate resource for learning everything about caring for your pet!

Learn More about the Author On LinkedIn

Similar Posts