There comes a time in every parent’s life when their child makes that one request we all dread: can I get a pet? The question comes right from the heart, so really, we should be glad. But it’s also one of the most difficult questions to answer because nobody knows quite how well it is going to go. Will they take to the pet? Or will it fall by the wayside like every other thing they shown an interest in. Well, there’s a few good gateway pets to take a look at to test the waters of your little one’s pet-loving ability. Take a look at our conclusive list of starter pets for parents to consider.
A fish is always the easiest to start off with because – and no offence to said fish – that’s where the least collateral damage lies within the animal kingdom. If your child doesn’t take to a fish, they’re never going to take to anything bigger, never mind a dog or a pony. If you get all of the right equipment you can even sell it on if you child becomes bored. A tank, some decorations and a filter, and you’re ready to start this experiment! If you’re concerned about buying the right products, we recommend a canister filter over power filters and so does Tankarium.
A little bigger than a fish but also a little more playful. If your child decides they like this then that opens up all sorts of possibilities. These animals are best for children a little older as they can often scurry off out of control. The kid being old enough to tell you where it went would be a great bonus. There’s very little needed to a guinea pig too. A cage, some wood-chips and a toy ball and you’re golden to go. Watch your child’s eyes light up at the sight of these little guys!
This is pretty much the same with any small bird, but these make great first pets. Apart from the fact that you don’t do too much, they’re the perfect amount of effort for a kid. They can get the bird out and play with it if they want, but failing that they’re also happy to sit on their branch and keep themselves entertained. Something which we often wish our children would do. They’re widely available from local pet stores, too, and at a relatively low cost, they’re ideal candidates for the first pet lottery.
OK so this would be going in straight to the deep end, but honestly speaking, the pets further back in the list don’t exactly command the same level of excitement and kinship towards you and your child like a dog does. The bigger, more active animal might be the best way to introduce your child to a world where animals need a decent level of attention. It might also be a good pet for you too, and a chance for you and your kid to bond over something with a joint level of love.