Pets can play important roles in our mental health and emotional development. This is particularly true for kids. Younger children who have pets can learn responsibility and develop empathy and social intelligence, and all kinds of animals can improve moods and self-esteem. However, the responsibility of owning a pet is a serious business, so it’s critical to pick the perfect pet for your child’s individual requirements.

These are the top nine animals that make great pets for kids.

Budgie: The Ideal Pet for Beginners

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This particular species of parakeet is a talkative, intelligent, sweet, and friendly bird. They have long been a favorite among younger kids thanks to their upbeat voices and active sense of play.

They’re also low-maintenance, cheap to adopt and feed, and generally strong and healthy. It can also develop with your child as a pet.

It is possible to teach budgies a remarkably extensive vocabulary despite their noisy nature. Additionally, this bird may live for more than ten years, allowing it to grow up with your child.

Just remember that they need cautious handling. Every new parakeet owner should be careful to teach their pet the right manners for handling, although parents of smaller children may want to “co-parent” the bird for a while.

Leopard Gecko: A Long-Lived, Low-Maintenance Option for New Owners

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The leopard gecko is the polar opposite of the social parakeet, but kids who have shown an interest in reptiles would love having one of these low-maintenance creatures as a pet.

Leopard geckos can fit in a small terrarium and can adapt to a variety of environmental factors and environments. Neither is the leopard gecko a picky eater, and it is a careful animal with a set bathroom.

Clean-up and upkeep are simple and infrequent, and constructing the habitat itself can be educational in and of itself. Leopard geckos, on the other hand, are not difficult to care for in the long run, as they can survive in captivity for up to 20 years.

The interaction between a child and a gecko will primarily consist of observation rather than play, but it’s an excellent method to introduce young children to the basics of the natural world in a calm setting.

Hamsters:ย Low-cost Pets Andย Ideal for Beginners

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The hamster can be thought of as the leopard gecko’s furry counterpart. Despite being soft and fluffy, these small, silent creatures are not aggressive and want to be left alone. They are most active at night.

Younger children can learn some basic caregiving duties from hamsters without feeling overwhelmed, and they can also have a pet to cuddle with right before night.

A hamster can survive in a cage as little as two by one foot, though more room will undoubtedly make the pet happy. Hamsters are inexpensive pets that can serve as an excellent stepping stone into a more demanding pet, although they only typically survive two to four years.

Cat: Ideal for Cuddles or Calming a Nervous Child

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For a child suffering from anxiety, it can be challenging to live a happy and healthy life as they should, but a pet can be a wonderful treatment tool and a wonderful social comforter.

Although the majority of cat breeds are independent creatures that don’t need much care, the feeling of order can help set secure boundaries and techniques for managing anxiety or sadness.ย 

A calm cat to cuddle with is the obvious choice for an anxious child. Both the medium-sized Persian cat and the massive Maine coon are peaceful, affectionate cats with lots of fluff for cuddling. However, playful short-haired breeds such as the Bengal and Siamese can provide a sense of dynamic and calm energy for an anxious child.

Rat: A Responsibility Lesson Intended for a Teenager

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The duty of caring for an animal is a valuable lesson for older children that may be taught through cats and dogs, but due to their lengthy lifespans, this lesson will continue long after the student has graduated from high school.

Rats often only survive for two to three years, yet they are just as intelligent, charismatic, and energetic as cats or dogs. Rats can be an excellent friend for a teen or older child who can comprehend it.

These rodents are intelligent and entertaining, unlike hamsters, which detest handling. Caretakers must be able to continuously find time for them because their rapid minds demand a lot of stimulation. That can be an effective strategy for an adolescent to retain solid habits while navigating the craziness of high school.

Rabbit: A Great First Pet for the Entire Family

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The cute and fluffy rabbit may seem like an excellent pet for youngsters, and under the appropriate circumstances, they can be, but given their relatively demanding natures, they may be more suited as a lesson in family responsibility sharing.

Bunnies are highly gregarious creatures who flourish when they can play and have companionship for a couple of hours every day. Adding additional rabbits to the environment can help keep them active, but this comes with its own set of responsibilities.

However, these creatures are peaceful, quiet, and intelligent enough to learn a variety of tasks. They do, however, necessitate highly complex diets and regular veterinary care. However, if everyone is ready to help, raising a rabbit may be a wonderful and unifying experience.

Turtle: A Primer to Aquarium Life

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Turtles are content to stay by themselves nearly all the time and require little maintenance and space. They make wonderful first pets, especially for busy households who might not have much time to devote to caring for a pet’s emotional requirements. Red-eared sliders, Mississippi map turtles, and wood turtles are all common pets.

Routine maintenance requires little effort. The routine of daily care can help establish responsibility in young pet owners once the family sets up the environmental conditions and habitat together. Remember that many turtles experience tremendous growth over their lifetimes, so it is in your best interest to purchase an aquarium that is much bigger than you might anticipate.

Corn Snake: A Wonderful But Safe Lesson onย Nature

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Since snakes were one of our most effective and deadly predators throughout our evolutionary process, humans naturally dislike them. However, the majority of snake species are perfectly safe for us.

Some children naturally find slithering serpents fascinating, and those who don’t mind find that learning about snakes piques their curiosity about the greater function that these creatures serve in the ecosystem.ย 

While adult beginners should consider ball pythons, children should consider the gentle and quiet corn snake. When choosing this choice, consider age and sensitivity, as some children may struggle to accept the snake’s live feeding habits (it feeds on rodents).

Fish: A Pet Project Your Child Can Grow With

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Fish kept in freshwater aquariums are typically more resilient, affordable, and low maintenance. Saltwater tanks typically house the colorful fish seen in coral reef habitats, but they may also be rather delicate and picky eaters.

A teenager or younger children learning alongside their parents’ supervision can use this kind of challenge as an exceptional project. However, you can even start with something as basic as a goldfish or guppy and let the aquarium expand as your child’s interests and visions do.


Of course, the key thing for parents to consider when looking at pet ownership is that it is a big responsibility. It’s important to make sure that the child is ready for such a responsibility, that they can provide the attention and care the animal needs, and that they’ll also be able to handle living with someone else.

If you’ve recently lost a cherished pet, consider immortalizing their memory with a personalized pet memorial stone. Visit Rainbow Bridge Pet Memorial’s website for more information.ย