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Is 5 years old a good age to get a pet?

My son turns 5 this May and we are considering getting him a pet as a gift. Is he still too young? If not, what kind of pet would be good? We are absolutely not cat people so that is a definite no.

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Asked by zackaroosmom at 2:58 PM on Mar. 19, 2011 in Pets

Level 5 (75 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Well for us I would not get a pet for a five year old. All the small rodents bite. Fish are a lot of work to properly care for. And the only option would be a dog that I would be the one caring for. Also dogs chew up everything, bark and pee in the house. I already have my hands full so I would not want to be taking care of a pet right now. Lol.

    Answer by Hatsumomo at 3:04 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I would get a family pet. Pets are great for kids but five is too young to have all of the responsibility. My little girl is two and she helps me take care of the animals.

    Answer by Razzle_Dazzle1 at 3:07 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I say yes, if you realize that you'll be the one doing most of the care and making sure it gets done. Dogs require vet trips, walks, a leash and collar, food, and fresh water all the time, as well as a wealth of love and attention and training. Small animals like hamsters are definitely not a good idea for a child that young. Gold fish are ok, but they die fairly often. Birds are nice, but they sometimes screech, and they can bite and be very messy too.

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 3:10 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I think there's a difference between getting a child a pet and getting a family pet that you hope your child will also enjoy. Five is too young to be responsible for an animal. They have a limited attention span and are just not responsible enough to get food and water and proper care to another living creature. They are, however, old enough to help out with an animal and interact with an animal with parental supervision. So if you're going to get a pet, I would recommend you do your research and get a pet that you feel comfortable with and don't mind caring for... how do you feel about walking the dog, or cleaning out a cage, etc? Make sure the whole family is invested in the pet and hopefully the child will be as well!

    Answer by Freela at 3:27 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Shelters make u fillout paperwork and will not let u adopt if there is anyone under the age of 8 in the house.

    Answer by dancer at 6:05 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I think the age of 8 is a much better age if it is going to be his pet, unless you do a very low maintenance pet like fish or some frogs for him.

    Answer by spottedpony at 6:08 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • We got my son a guinea pig at four. And he is almost 5 and we just got a rat terrier puppy. He isnt good with either one of them.He hits the dog and squeezes the guinea pig. UGh. We def should have waited.

    Answer by jmgblair10 at 6:15 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Start out with a fish and work yourself up from that point to see how well he takes care of it.

    Answer by musicmom08 at 8:01 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I would definitely get a FAMILY pet for your child at age 5. 5 is too young to be a sole care taker but a great age to start introducing animal companionship and responsibilities in pet care. We always had cockatiels in my house when I was young. If you get them hand raised from a breeder they make great and gentle animals for younger kids. You just have to be sure to tell them to let the bird sit on their hand or shoulder and gently stroke their back with one finger to ensure gentleness. A five year old can also easily scoop bird seed into a bowl, hold a garbage bag for cage cleaning and hand you clean newspapers. Interaction between the child and the bird should always be supervised and I suggest hanging the cage where they can't reach so they can't get the animal out themselves.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 9:07 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I'd wait a couple of years.

    Answer by tasches at 7:21 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

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