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Is she ready for a pet?

Home Forums Parenting Kindergarten & School Age Is she ready for a pet?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Blog Editor Blog Editor 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    Profile photo of Macy

    My first grade daughter has been BEGGING us for a pet. A dog, cat, hamster, bunny, snail…each day she tries to make the case for bringing an animal into the family. I know pets can be a great learning experience for children, especially when it comes to empathy and responsibility, but I don’t want all of the work to fall on me!

    So my questions are: is she still too young for a pet? And, if not…what type of pet would you suggest? Cats and dogs are out of the question, but I’m a bit lost when it comes to the best option for a small animal.

    Profile photo of Blog Editor
    Blog Editor

    If she would be happy with a fish, you could start there.  They are fairly low maintenance and inexpensive if you keep it to one fish.  A hamster, rabbit, etc… requires more responsibility than just feeding it.  They require cage cleanings which will fall on you and can be stinky. I grew up with cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, hamsters and a large fish tank and even though the fish tank was large it was the easiest to maintain.  However, you can’t hold a fish.

    With rabbits you can keep these outside.  We always did and that help to keep the stink out of your house and requires less cleaning but you do have to worry about wild animals AND remember to feed it every day even when it is cold outside.  I also think rabbits who live outside do tend to be held less so they are less inclined to let you hold them.

    Birds are a nice option too.  We had large tropical birds but I had friends with small birds that were again fairly easy to maintain and birds are pretty clean animals.

    Good luck!

    Profile photo of Colleen

    I second the fish idea! It’s great for a first pet and still teaches responsibility. You can make it clear that feeding the fish is your daughter’s job. It’s a simple task, but a good first test at being a pet owner and learning responsibility without having to deal with more involved tasks like cleaning cages, etc. You can use a fish to gauge how ready your child is to handle a more challenging pet.


    Fish and hermit crabs are both fairly safe options that don’t require toooooo much upkeep.

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