A great many number of factors should be considered for deciding on a good pet for a child. A wrong decision can prove harmful for both the pet as well as the kid for whom it is being bought for, because a very young child may not be able to respect the safety and the needs of any pet. Life span, grooming needs, general requirements etc., all combines to make each species of pets unique.
Adopting dogs or small puppies are the most preferred choice when it comes to choosing pets as their faithful and friendly nature is one of the major reasons attributing to that. Dogs can be great for younger children, if adequate research is being performed and a laid back breed is being selected.
Cats can also make good pets for children. They are low on maintenance because they do not necessarily need a walk to relieve themselves, also they do not require frequent baths. Due to their low energy levels, they can be kept indoors safely and calmly. But it is important to look at breed temperaments before making a decision on which kind of kitten to get. Kittens have got quite sharp teeth and claws. This kind of teething kitten may not be suitable for an infant. A cat about a year old with an established personality can prove to be a perfect pet for families with young children as it is better able to cope with them and their fast, unexpected movements and undue loud noises. Kids often hold kittens and puppies by their heads, thus kids have to be kept always under a vigil. Some cats can also make the kids allergic.
Fish are great starter pets for kids, which will teach them basic responsibility. Fresh water fish are easy to care for than saltwater fish. And live-bearing fish are the easiest out of all. People keep fish as pets because different sizes, colors, and textures may look very interesting to a little kid. The fish stays in its own environment, separated from the child, so it is suitable for parents who do not want their kids to be too much involved in the pets. Kids often enjoy watching the fish swim all around in the water. It should be ensured that the tank is put up high enough and the child is taught not to touch it. Some fish do not tolerate changes very well. Fish are a lot of work, from cleaning their aquariums and changing the water regularly. So, having fish is more than just throwing some food in the tank once or twice a day.
A bird may also make a good first pet. However, it should be properly bore in mind that some birds, like parrots, literally require commitment of a lifetime as they can live for 60-70 years. Parrots also may become vicious if not properly handled. They are very expensive and have challenging mental and emotional needs. Birds are sensitive creatures and they need caretakers who understand their ways. Most kids less than 12 years of age are probably not mature enough to understand the needs of a pet bird to care for it properly. Birds are prey animals and they do not do well with angry outbursts. Thus it is mostly advised that children younger than 6 years of age should not handle any type of bird.
Even though the animal selected is the child’s first pet, the adult in the home should still maintain responsibility for the animal, since there are cases where an animal is being mishandled which had led to safety concerns to the pets as well as the family. It should also be considered that pets tend to have a shorter life span, than human beings, this means one is introducing the child to the concept of death, possibly sooner than they would want to. Most children’s first experience with death is the death of a first pet; so a pet with a reasonably long life span should be chosen.