Before we start counting down names of pets you could get for your children, there are a few things to actually worry about. And worry a lot! We know that kids love having a little buddy to play with at all times, but make sure you are well-informed before purchasing anything. Without further ado, here are a few guiding lines:
Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Everybody loves puppies and kittens, but make sure you are well aware of what having one of them around the house means. For starters, they will need medical care, vaccines, food, playtime and someone to clean after them. Like it or not, pets are just kids that never grow up, so prepare yourself for a life of spilled milk, water, soup, chewed on shoes, hairy rugs, drooling and heavy breathing. Did we mention the walks in the park that need to take place every day?
They Grow Up so Fast
Also, pets will grow up faster than your kids, which means that your little puppy can become a huge dog within a year: imagine how hard it is to bathe it then! That goes for normal pets like dogs, pigs and cats, but you don’t have to go so far to please your little one. Here’s a list of pets you could get without worrying about size or maintenance.
Low Maintenance Pets for Kids
If your children are very curious and generally interested in how life works, ants will be a great idea, just make sure they stay in their little space. There are a few advantages: you don’t have to clean after them, take them out for a walk, feed them very often and you can also explain to your children how a society works, how people are just like that, going to work and building their own homes. The downside is that your little ones could get bored very easy, and that’s when it’s time to move on to another kind of pet.
2. Hermit crabs
You could try hermit crabs: they are clean, don’t need a lot of maintenance (just feed them regularly and keep their box closed). The bad part is that, no matter what you do, it will still be impossible to pet the hermit crabs, so your kids might feel slightly frustrated. We recommend that you move on to a new pet in at least 6 months.
Each kid should have their own golden fish: they are low-maintenance, cheerful, vibrant and don’t make any noise. If you have a lot of them, you’ll need to clean the fish tank quite often or the fish will get sick. Plus, they need to be fed regularly, so it’s best not to leave that to your children. However, a small ball with just one gold fish could be the way to do it!
4. Small lizards
If you don’t have a natural fear of lizards, why not buy one? Take Geckos, for example: they are nice, friendly, don’t bite and rarely need any kind of maintenance. You don’t have to bathe them, clean after them too often or go overboard when it comes to food. The downside is that you might step on them, as awful as it sounds. They have a tendency to explore every little corner of the house, if you let them loose. If you don’t, they become depressed and then sick. However, they are very fun to be around and your children will absolutely love having a small lizard!
5. Tortoises and turtles
They might be slow, but also very adorable! You can buy a very small one for your child and watch it grow. It would be a great way to find out more about nature, its creatures and especially turtles. The good thing is that these tiny pets enjoy vegetables, so you can feed them small amounts of green peppers, tomatoes, strawberries or apples. If your little one doesn’t mind a pet that less active than they would expect, that’s the way to go!
6. Small birds
Time to adopt a singer? Go for a small bird then! All they need is a nice cage, grains, some medicines every now and then and lots and lots of love, which I’m sure your little one will be more than happy to provide! However, there are a few things you need to be careful about: first of all, loneliness drives birds crazy, so you have two options: either buy more than one or let your bird out of her cage to really enjoy freedom. If you have a nice basement where your kids can play, set the bird free and close all the doors in the house.
If you don’t like chinchillas, you don’t know what you’re missing. These adorable creatures with soft fur and curious whiskers doesn’t need a lot of space: just a nice glass box, food and a spinning wheel for the daily dose of fun! Teach your children to feed it and they’ll have a great time. You shouldn’t expect them to take care of the chinchilla all the time, because kids forget things and the little creature might be neglected or even starve to death. Choose to do everything together and don’t miss the chance to teach your children about nature and animals.
It’s time to move on to the next low-maintenance pet on our list: who doesn’t like chipmunks? If you think you can keep up with this little fella, you should really buy it! Before you do, however, stock up on nuts, walnuts and peanuts, tell your children to watch out for scratches and you’re good to go. Although some people prefer keeping them in a cage, it’s best to set them free around the house every now and then. Once they get used to you and your family, you won’t have to worry that they will run away. They can be just as loyal as dogs!
9. Guinea pig
Pretty much every child had a Guinea pig growing up. Prepare yourself for your share of cuteness, softness, restless chewing, wall-scratching and every now and then biting. However, this little fella is quite, doesn’t require a lot of attention and will do just fine on carrots, grains and some good old hay. The main problem with Guinea pigs is obesity. Kids love them so much that they keep feeding them all day long. Since Guinea pigs are far from being the most active creatures on this planet, all that fat goes straight to their skin tissue.
Yes, you knew this was about to happen. After experimenting with all kinds of pets, every family has to buy a cat or a dog eventually. We chose cats because they don’t need walking, too much bathing, or extreme grooming treatments like a Poodle would, for example. Just purchase a short-haired cat, give her all your love and affection and, if you have a camera around, you can make a bunch of cute homemade videos. Plus, your kids will love playing with it, just make sure to get it checked out periodically in order to avoid parasites and diseases. Other than that, your life will soon become cat-tastic!