Pets are very popular and can be found in most households. Dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, and even hedgehogs. There is a suitable pet for almost every family. But which animals are actually suitable for a family with children? And what should you keep in mind?
When you decide to welcome a pet into the family, there are many things to consider. One of these is your child/children. Not all pets are equally suitable for children and not all children will handle animals with the same care. You should also think carefully about what to expect from your child.
What Can I Expect From My Children?
It is good for the development of children to help with the care of pets. This ensures, among other things, a good sense of responsibility. What you can expect from a child depends very much on the age and also on the child itself. Before you purchase the animal, it is important that you discuss this with your child.
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For example, you can make a list together of who does what and when. Even if your child is still very young, it is advisable to involve your child in the care. When your child is older and has a side job, you can also make agreements about who pays what.
For example, you can agree that you pay for essentials like food and medication, but your child has to pay for any pet toys using their own pocket money. Food and medication can be expensive, but it’s worth spending money on to keep your pet healthy. Have a look at these Badlands Ranch reviews if you’re looking for high-quality food for your four-legged friend that will keep them healthy for years to come.
Toys, meanwhile, are not as essential, but they help to keep your pet happy. Keep in mind that the pet is yours together, so do things yourself to care for it, and don’t leave everything to your child.
Below is an indication of what you can expect. Of course, it also differs per child and you will have to keep a close eye on it yourself.
1-4 Years Children
You can’t really expect anything from your child up to the age of 4 years. However, it is advisable to involve the child in the care of the animal. For example, you can make it a regular ritual to feed the pet together after dinner. While cleaning the cage, your child may point out things.
4-7 Years Children
When your child is 4-6 years old, he/she already understands a lot more. When you fill the food bowl, your child could put it in the hutch himself. He/she can also help you while cleaning the cage.
7-10 Years Children
From about 7 years you can give your child a fixed task. In most cases, it is best to start feeding. For example, you can agree that he/she will feed the animal on certain days, for example, every other day or only on weekends. On the other days, you do this yourself. If this goes well, you can extend this to every day. You can still clean the cage together.
10-16 years Children
From the age of 10, you can give your child a little more responsibility. For example, you can agree that he/she also occasionally cleans the cage alone. However, do not do this too often, it is of course still your pet.
16 Year And Above Children
If your child is 16 years or older and wants a pet of his own, you can in principle let your child do everything himself. Make sure that this is done properly. Also only do this if it really is your child’s pet. When the pet is yours together, you will also have to take care of it together.
Which Pet Is The Best Suit?
Below is a description of some of the most common pets whether they are suitable for children. However, you will still have to look up things about the animal yourself. Think, for example, of the amount of attention and care the animal needs.
What the costs of the animal are, both the purchase, care and any veterinary costs. How big the loft should be and what else do you need? You should also pay attention to whether the animal lives in solitary or needs to be kept with conspecifics.
Rabbits are often immediately thought of when it comes to children, this is actually unjustified. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are absolutely not stuffed animals. Most rabbits don’t like to sit on your lap and be petted, they are also very vulnerable. If your child is a little older, it could be. Your child must realize that they are not stuffed animals. When you have the space outside they are very nice to watch.
Guinea pigs are a bit more suitable, but not real cuddly animals and quite vulnerable. In general, guinea pigs are a little more predictable when they are tame. This makes them a little more suitable for sitting on your lap every now and then.
Despite the fact that hamsters are very small, they can be very suitable as pets, especially with older children. Hamsters can be very tame and enjoy being out of their cage. When a hamster is tame, it often climbs on a hand by itself when it is put in the cage. It is also great fun for children to create a ‘play paradise’ on the ground with,
for example, toilet rolls and climbing equipment. Of course, care must be taken to ensure that it is safe. It should also be taken into account that they are nocturnal animals. They will certainly be awake sometimes but mostly sleep. There are different types of hamsters, the Russian and Syrian (also called golden hamsters) are the most frightened.
Mice are fun animals that can provide hours of viewing pleasure. Most mice will climb right on your hand when you put it in the cage. Because they are good at estimating height, they will not easily do unpredictable things (except for fear/pain), which makes them quite suitable for children despite their very small size. Care must be taken that the children close the cage properly, they are masters of escape.
Tame rats are very nice pets and actually best suited for children. Rats are very tame and can be very affectionate, especially males. The females are more active and adventurous, which in turn provides hours of viewing pleasure. Because the rat is a bit bigger, it is not very vulnerable. They are good at estimating height and will therefore not react unpredictably (except through fear/pain). Rats are also masters at escaping, so the cage must also be closed properly.