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Things to Remember If Your Kids Want Their First Pet

Pet Care Tips 3 min read
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If you’d like to know all the reasons why pets are good for children, get ready because the list of benefits is winter long. To cut a long story short, pet ownership is great whatever way you slice it. Firstly, pets are great companions and they can help your children understand the meaning of true friendship. Secondly, pets can comfort kids if the latter feel sad or angry for some reason. Thirdly, pets are a great reason for your kids to understand what it’s like to be responsible for someone and take care of some other creature. And lastly, it’s been proven that pets help children learn and discover the world around.

Given all said above, it comes as no surprise there are so many parents who consider the idea of adopting a pet for their kids. If you made it to this article, chances are good you are one of those parents. The good news is that you made it to the right place. In the next five minutes, you will learn how old your kids should be when getting their first pet, what particular pets and breeds are especially children-friendly, and how to make sure your kid and a little pet will get to know each other seamlessly. So let’s get started.

How to Know When It’s Time

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It all depends on the temper of your kid, the kind of pet, the breed you consider adopting as well as the amount of adult supervision you can provide. Nonetheless, there are certain guidelines to help you in deliberations.

If you think of adopting a kitten, it’s better if your child is at least 5 years old. Before this age, kids cannot control their anger and emotions appropriately, which can cause certain problems. In case your kids have not reached the age of 5, consider adopting an adult cat. Cats of this age are less aggressive and not that vulnerable at the same time.

If your kids are dreaming about a puppy, they should be even older. According to experts, children over 6 get along with dogs way better. The thing is that at this age, kids are more likely to get involved in taking care of pets and treat them with more respect.

Speaking of more exotic pets like hamsters or rats, they might be less demanding in terms of care and nutrition, but there will be a need for even more adult supervision. Plus, it is hardly possible to predict allergic reactions to such pets.

How to Help Your Kid and Pet Become Friends

The bad news is that both kids and pets are not the most easy-going creatures. Both have their temper and habits, which can cause certain problems for the first little while. The good news is, however, that there are certain tricks to help kids and pets make friends in a fraction of the time. More on that below.

  • Explain to Your Kids the Importance of RespectFirst and foremost, your kids should respect a pet and treat it accordingly. Your goal is to help them realize that pet is a leaving creature that wants support, understanding, and love. It is important for your kids to understand that sometimes a pet needs some privacy.
  • Tell Your Kids to Watch the TailWhen it comes to cats and dogs, their tails can tell us a lot. If a kitten or a puppy is calm and comfortable, a tail is likely to stay still. If a tail is standing straight up, there must be something wrong.
  • Start Low, Go SlowThere is no need to rush it. Start small and don’t expect from your kids to do everything right in regards to a pet. Teach your kid to ask for permission when he or she wants to tease a pet. This way, you’ll have more control over the progress of their relationships.

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For the Finals.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign, here it is: go for it, get your kids their first pet. To make pet ownership a happy experience, keep all the above tips in mind and don’t forget to take good care of your pet’s health by feeding them well (and adding supplements designed for pets if necessary). Nobody says it will be easy and fun all the time, but chances are good that your kids will have a happier childhood with a four-legged friend around.


Sloan McKinney is a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other pet owners guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.

Published: December 1, 2017

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