All children, at some point in their lives, when they grow up, want to have their first pet. Will they take care of it as much as they promise? That’s another story, but in any case, you’ll probably give in to the request for the toddler’s greatest happiness. The question then arises: which animal to choose? There are so many choices! Fortunately, we are here to help you. Here are the top 10 best first pets you can choose for your child.
10. Hermit Crab
Hermit Crab are interesting small pets that do not require much maintenance. You must give them food and fresh water every day, of course, but also a small daily water mist to keep them hydrated. You can keep them in a small tank with some gravel. In addition, the bigger he gets, the biggest shells you will have to provide him with to snuggle up.
9. Small lizard
Although small lizards can become your child’s perfect companion, not all lizards are good pets if you are new to the subject. For example, iguanas and Savannah monitors are not recommended; they are small and cute at first, but will grow to several feet long and can bite. You are advised to choose a leopard gecko or a bearded dragon, for example. They are small – and remain small! – and they are easy to maintain.
8. Small bird
To introduce your child to caring for a pet, it is also possible to provide a small bird. A canary or a pair of Society Finches, for example, require very little time from you. Of course, you will still have to clean the cage regularly, give him water and food daily and offer him a cage large enough to stretch his wings a little. If you choose a bird, however, make sure your child is a little older because the bird doesn’t like sudden movements and unexpected noises.
7. Gerbil, hamster or mouse
These three small rodents are very popular with children. Easy to maintain, they simply need food, water, a clean and comfortable cage and a nice wheel to run on. To socialize it, just take it about 5 minutes a day. However, during these daily outings, you must remain vigilant! Gerbils, hamsters and mice are masters of escape and can easily sneak out of reach.
6. Guinea pig
While we tend to prefer small rodents, guinea pigs, a little larger, are also perfect companions for your children. They only bite very rarely, they love to play hide and seek and they will love you unconditionally. Ideally, if you want to have a guinea pig, we recommend adopting two of them, two females. Guinea pigs prefer to live in groups, but two males will tend to fight and one male and one female will have many babies!
Rats are much less popular than other rodents, but they are very intelligent, affectionate and clean. Domestic rats are very different from sewage rats. Your child will be able to teach him tricks, play with him and, the ultimate benefit: he grooms himself very well. You will only have to clean his cage regularly, feed him and give him water, and allow him to play a little outside his cage regularly. Like guinea pigs, they are very sociable, so adopting them in pairs is ideal.
4. Betta Fish
Fish is a classic pet for a child, but you have to choose the right one. Goldfish are generally the most popular, but they are more fragile and require more maintenance and installation. Ideally, choose a Betta fish. In addition to being beautiful, the Betta is satisfied with a fairly small bowl that requires no accessories, except a little gravel in the bottom and a small plastic plant if you want. Of course, the bowl should be regularly washed and the water changed, but to avoid algae build-up as much as possible, consider adding a small aquatic snail to do some cleaning. Unlike guinea pigs and rats, Betta is much better on its own; if you put two Betta together, they will fight to the death.
3. An old dog or cat
The classic! Cats and dogs are the animals that are automatically considered when it comes to adopting a pet. But although a puppy or kitten is much more attractive – they are so cute! -, adopting an older animal can be a great idea. As babies, they are much more difficult to raise, especially for a child. So kill two birds with one stone and adopt an adult dog or cat from a shelter! He will be more patient with children and will already be trained, so he will know how to take care of himself.
You have certainly seen a film in which a child had his own little ant farm! Well, why don’t you do the same? Popular in the 1950s, ant farms have evolved considerably since then. Of course, you can opt for a classic glass ant farm with sand, but there are now also ant farms that replace sand with nutritious gel, for example. It will, of course, be necessary to clean the ant farm by removing food scraps and old debris and to feed and water the ants. It may be a little more work, but you can witness a real show of nature in the comfort of your home!
1. Small snake
Like rats, snakes are misunderstood. If you stay away from toxic snakes and larger varieties, the snake can be an excellent pet choice for your child. The most popular variety is the corn snake, which will not exceed 1.2 to 1.5 metres in length when adult. If you adopt it young, it will quickly get used to you and enjoy curling up in the palm of your hands. You will still need to provide him with a vivarium in which you will put fresh water and a heat source. The biggest downside with the snake is found in its diet. Indeed, being a carnivore, you will have to feed him about once a week with a rodent. Fortunately, a domestic snake can settle for an already dead prey that you can buy in a pet store.