Choosing a pet; Dog - Cat – Fish

If you’re a parent or guardian, chances are that your children have asked, more than once, “Can we get a pet?”

Adults may be concerned here as they will end up doing all the work. And if you do decide to get a pet, which one is best for your family? The most important thing is that the animal’s habits and needs fit into a family’s everyday routine.

Parents also need to decide whether or not they are willing to take on responsibility for a pet – especially if they have younger children.

For toddlers, fish make great pets and can be so rewarding when watching them grow. Betta fish can make great first time fish and generally don’t need  a huge aquarium set up. Kids also have the opportunity to learn and understand the responsibilities involved in looking after pets in an ‘easy to care for’ way. However, an adult may need take on the responsibility for maintaining the tank! Another advantage of fish for younger children is they can do their own “aquascaping” with choosing plants, gravel, stones, and ornaments for the tank.

As kids get older though dogs and cats may become more popular, dogs like Golden Retrievers make wonderful pets for families, as long as the dog is used to being handled. You can also get kids involved in walking your dog by choosing stylish retractable dog leads, harnesses, and training equipment. We have a sister company – AllPetSolutions where we provide many varieties of dog and cat accessories and pet essentials.

Whether a dog and your child are a good match depends on the characteristics of the animal and how it has been raised. Bigger, younger dogs, which are still quite wild, are better for older children than small kids, who can easily be knocked over.

Kids often request small fluffy animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, which seem like a good idea. Sometimes they can make great little companions however, they are not always as suitable as they seem; Guinea pigs and rabbits must be kept in pairs, and often don’t like being handled, rabbits in particular can kick and scratch with their back paws and legs being very powerful.

Guinea pigs often like to sleep throughout the day and disturbing them can cause lots of stress. Hamsters are nocturnal and therefore may keep everyone up at night! Therefore, small pets usually more suitable for older children who will be able to handle with care.

Reptiles can often be overlooked as suitable, snakes and lizards can make great pets, but they are expensive to set up and usually cost a fair amount to maintain. Always do your research and check conditions that retiles like to kept in first as they can vary considerably depending on the animal.

When deciding on a pet, money can also be a consideration. Fish are relatively cheap to maintain; fish food, filter maintenance, and the occasional treatment or ornament will likely cost a lot less than the dog food bill every week. However, the initial cost of a dog or cat from a rescue centre is relatively low and purchasing aquariums, filters, heaters, etc. can easily amount to the hundreds.

Whatever pet you decide to get, the most important thing is research. Don't rush into buying an animal, always make sure you research the best environment for the animal and compare it with your own home and what you can provide. Pets can be a long term commitment, so it's important that they will be well cared for and maintaned.

If you need any further advice on pets or information about why pets do things check out our Pet Keeping Advice articles on the All Pet Solutions website. Or for Fish Advice, search through our Fish Keeping Articles.