Parents are often worried when their children want to keep pets as they may be easily infected with diseases or injured by the animals. However, keeping pets not only cultivate children's empathy, sense of responsibility, and ability to take care of others; according to a study in the United States, it also positively affect their social skills, physical health, and cognitive development. The study also showed that children make fewer mistakes in categorising objects, when in a room present with pets.
Keeping pets has more benefits than drawbacks for children's growth, but parents should also carefully choose pets that children can take care of, taking into consideration the pet's size, lifestyle, and lifespan. So, what are suitable pets for children to keep?
Guinea pigs are easy to care forThe American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that children aged 5 to 8 are suitable for keeping small-sized pets such as fishes and rodents. Guinea pigs, which belong to the rodent family, are one of the best choice. Guinea pigs have a similar sleeping schedule to humans, taking multiple short naps throughout the day, and are herbivores with simple dietary requirements. They are also easy to take care of, requiring only occasional nail trimming and cleaning of their beddings. During feeding, they make a chirping sound when they see food, which can help children and pets develop appropriate interactions. However, guinea pigs are timid, and parents should pay attention to whether their children's actions are too rough when taking care of them, which may cause accidental injuries.
Turtles have long lifespanAnother suitable pet for children to keep are turtles, and are roughly divided into two categories:terrestrial/land turtles and aquatic/water turtles. Terrestrial turtles are more difficult and expensive to care for, while aquatic turtles, especially red-eared sliders (aka. Brazilian turtles), are easier to care for, can interact well with humans, and have lower maintenance cost, requiring only clean water, sufficient food, and sunlight to grow healthily. They are a very suitable pet for children to keep. In addition, turtles generally have a long lifespan and can accompany children for a longer period.
Fishes are ornamental and easy to care forParents can also let their children keep fishes as pets. If children in the family want to keep fish, parents should choose bright-colored freshwater fishes, such as goldfish and clownfish. In addition to being ornamental, they are also easy to care for. Although the growth environment of fish is simple, children should also prepare basic equipment such as fish tanks, air pumps, and heaters. They should also feed them regularly and change the water frequently. It is worth noting that tropical fish or saltwater fish should not be chosen first, as both require more complex equipment and experience in keeping them, which is not a suitable choice for kids.
Birds are easy to care for too
If you want to let your child keep a pet, keeping birds is also a good choice. Smaller birds, such as cockatiels, are more suitable for children to keep, as they are gentle and can stand on people's hands. Cockatiels can make lively sounds, and children can also train them to say words. Adding training elements to the process of children keeping pets can also cultivate their patience.
Learn more about Vetopia's dry food, snacks, supplies, and accessories for small animalsIn addition to choosing pets that are suitable for children to keep, parents should also ensure their children are aware of the responsibilities and challenges of keeping pets. If parents and children need to purchase pet supplies, they can choose to buy them online at Vetopia. Regardless of which type of pet is chosen, Vetopia provides suitable dry food, snacks, supplies, and accessories for small animals.