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What age for a pet?

WHat age do you recomend for a child to get a pet and also what type pet would you suggest for a first pet? Not a fish -- Something relatively low maintenance?


Asked by BaileysMom476 at 6:31 PM on Feb. 10, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • We have a tree frog for my 6 year old. He was expensive to get started but is pretty cheap to maintain. He is pretty cool to watch and hold sometimes to. They don't need handled a while lot and it cost about a dollar fifty a week to feed then 10-15 every few weeks to change the dirt and moss out.

    I have always been fond of rats as pets as well, they are pretty low maintenance and VERY social/friendly. They love to be held and played with and are smart enough to learn tricks.

    Any child under about 10 is going to need some amount of help with care and cleaning. And for even longer they will need prompts to feed and change bedding.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 6:36 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Well, it depends on you and your child. If your child is young you will end up being the primary care giver of the pet and if the child loses interest (which happens, they are kids) then the pet pretty much becomes yours.
    Guinea Pig's make great first time pets, they are very sociable hardly ever bite (and give a warning by clicking their teeth together) and are pretty easy to take care of. Just read up on them, they do require daily fresh veggies since their bodies do not produce certain vitamins that they need they have to get it through food.
    Even though you said no fish, Betta Fish make good first pets they are colorful and VERY easy to care for and can live three or more years.
    Hamsters can be big biters and are nocturnal so your kid might lose interest in it when all it ever does is sleep.
    Hope this helps!

    Answer by Gnomeofmyheart at 6:39 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I would say 1st time a cat not that I'm a cat person because I am not our dd got her 1st cat at 4 yrs old and she got a dog at 8 and she's doing fine with the dog.I got rid of the cat after about 3 yrs. LOL!

    Answer by Moms_Angels1960 at 6:34 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • When they are old enough to properly handle or be around the pet w/out hurting it (even on accident) & old enough to help take care of it. That means, food, water, & duty duty. You can never go wrong with a kid friendly dog from your local shelter. :)

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:38 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • For a first pet for a child I would go with something like a Cat. They keep to themselves, they're low maitenence, and what care you do give them is easy to do. However, I wouldn't recommend a younger child changing the liter. A hamster, a guinea pig, or something of that nature is a good pet for a younger or older child. I would suggest gauging the child's responsibility rather then the age. Some younger children are much more apt then others at handling a pet.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 8:13 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • It really depends on the child, and I don't think that any child under the teenage years is really old enough to be the sole caregiver of an animal (I know I wouldn't want my life to be resting on my eight year old remembering to feed me!) So any pet that you get for a child is essentially going to be your job, so make sure you get something that you like. We have guinea pigs, but they are the family pets... I like little critters so I don't mind that the care needs fall on me. The kids do interact with them daily, give them treats, hold them and pat them and things like that, but the cage cleaning and basic maintenance is all me.

    Answer by Freela at 9:33 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Hmm -- we actually have an outside cat -- but I refuse to let her in the house because of all the (long)hair!

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 6:36 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I actaully have thought about a hamster/gerbil (not even sure they are the same thing) -- but I KNOW I will have to do a lot of the caring for any animal -- and I am SCARED of things that look like mice/rats! lol

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 6:38 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Hmmm, thank you all for the tips -- I am going to have to do some research and thinking:-)

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 9:35 PM on Feb. 10, 2011