Pets can help improve health, especially that of your children. Getting your first pet can be a thrilling part of growing up. Pets can help your child manage emotions and perform many other functions in their lives. Having a pet can also help children acquire empathy, patience, and caring for others. 

The goal is to have an honest discussion with your child about the ideal pet. You can help your child have a positive experience with pet ownership by outlining clear expectations up front and supporting them as they go. 

Which Pet is Best for Kids?

Choosing the correct pet can ensure that both you and your child have a great experience with pets. It’s crucial to take your child’s age into account before purchasing or adopting any pet. These eight pets are well-known for being kid-friendly.


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Dogs are renowned for being traditional household pets. Dogs are very trainable, and the training process may benefit children as well. Parents can teach their children how to establish routines for things like exercising, bringing the dog out for a walk, and feeding the dog.

Playing with dogs is an excellent way for children to stay active, and dogs can also teach youngsters about compassion and sociability. Popular family dogs include golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, beagles, and collies.

Young children may require monitoring, particularly when dealing with large dogs. Dogs have varying life spans, with little dogs typically outliving larger dogs. With an average lifespan of roughly 11 years, dogs require a long-term commitment.


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Another common household pet is the cat, which is known for being relatively low maintenance. Teaching children how to properly care for pets by showing them how to feed, groom, and clean their litter boxes can be beneficial.

Cats can be wonderful playmates for younger kids since they are gentle and frequently low-energy. Children’s immune systems may even be strengthened by having a hairy pet in the house, decreasing their risk of developing allergies as they get older. Cats require a commitment over a long period because they typically live for 15 years or longer.


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Hamsters are a popular pet for children since they are low-maintenance. They may sometimes bite, so always keep a watchful eye on them if you have little children. Larger breeds of hamsters, such as Syrian hamsters, are less aggressive. The average lifespan of a hamster is three years.


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For young children, rabbits make excellent pets. In comparison to certain other little pets, they are more unlikely to nip or bite, are very soft and attractive, and are generally quiet and easy-going.

When caring for these creatures, your child will require adult supervision to ensure that no one becomes too aggressive when playing. If you have more than one rabbit, having them spayed and neutered can help reduce aggression. They can survive for eight to twelve years and need a simple diet of vegetables, grass hay, and pellets.


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Hedgehogs can be entertaining pets for your child. Hedgehogs can develop social skills with your child if handled while they are young.

Their lifespan is between five and seven years, however, they are more susceptible to health issues than some other pets. Check your local laws to make sure you can have a hedgehog as a pet because not all states permit it.

Bearded Dragons

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Bearded dragons are ideal for older children. They are tough animals that are safe for children because they do not bite. They normally survive five to eight years, but with good care, they can live up to ten years.

Since bearded dragons require particular temperatures as well as accessibility to water, their housing requirements are quite difficult, but older kids can actively participate in feeding and caring for their aquarium. 


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Rats are incredibly affectionate and can form strong bonds with their owners. Rats are excellent pets for kids above eight years old. The average lifespan of rats is three years, and they like interacting with their owners.

Rats will require a balance of exercise and diet because they are incapable of controlling how much food they eat, which could lead to obesity and other health problems. Because they are trainable and enjoy tricks, teaching rats to play is an excellent way to make sure they get adequate exercise.

Corn Snakes

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For older kids and parents who are more fearless, corn snakes make excellent pets. They require little maintenance and are simple to handle.

They are better suited for older children because they require recently deceased or frozen rats as food. They require a particular, temperature-controlled habitat and have a lifespan of between five and ten years.

Lifestyle Considerations

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It can be very demanding to take care of a small animal. Make sure you can help your child if they need it while choosing a pet. 

Your Child’s Interest

Pet ownership will feel less like an obligation and more like a pleasure for your child if you can find a pet that they want to have fun with and care for. Pets can be an excellent way of teaching your child responsibility, though you may occasionally need to step in. 

Your Child’s Age

Pick a pet that will be exciting for your youngster to look after while also being simple to care for. Additionally, confirm if your child is of the age to practice safety measures. It’s important to clean and handle little animals carefully because some of them may transmit viruses or bacteria like Salmonella. 

Your Commitment as a Parent

Having a pet is a wonderful way for children to learn responsibility. Your child’s pet can make them responsible. However, your child will require assistance from time to time, such as when they are gone at a sleepover or just forget to feed their pet.

Monitoring the situation will enable you to teach your child about animal care and safeguard the safety of your pet. When selecting the ideal pet for your family, make sure it matches your child’s interests and that you’re willing to assist teach them how to care for it.

Wrapping up

A pet is a big decision for anyone, and it can be especially difficult for parents with very young kids. However, you should look at pet ownership as a long-term commitment that will have to last for 10 or more years.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you in the process of choosing the best pet option for your family, but remember that nothing could substitute the value of hands-on experience.

If you do get a pet as a gift, regardless of what animal it is, keep in mind that you’ll be taking care of it for many years to come—be sure to weigh all of the potential pros and cons before doing so.

If you are looking for a new pet after the loss of a beloved animal, Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorials can help you create a customized pet memorial stone in memory of your precious pet. Call us at 208-253-4557, or email us at [email protected] for more information about our products and services.