How do you know which are the best pets for kids? Your kids have been begging for a cat, dog, goldfish, snake or gerbil. You’ve been dodging the issue for months, but finally cave to pressure and are considering a non-human addition to the family. The right family pet can make your life even better; they reduce stress, provide companionship and teach your children responsibility. The wrong pet can make your life miserable, become a source of tension (“It’s your turn to take the dog out in the rain!”) and create a reason for the landlord to cancel your lease.
Having considered all that, you’ve decided to allow the kids a pet anyway. Use this guide to determine which pet is right for you and your family.
Who lives in the household?
If your house is orderly and scheduled you can probably take on any pet and be happy. If chaos is the rule, a lot of pets will add to the general disorganization. Dogs need exercise and training. If you’re trying to potty train a toddler, do you want to housebreak a puppy at the same time? Older kids are great dog trainers. They can walk the dog, feed the dog and help clean up after the dog. But if you don’t have time to fold laundry let alone mop up puppy pee, you’d better stick to goldfish.