Children love animals, and giving your kid an animal from a young age can help them develop a variety of life skills. This includes learning responsibility, caring for a small creature and being selfless. Not only this, but animals can provide hours of fun and become your kid’s best friend. When looking for a new member of the family, it is important to remember that there are other options than just dogs and cats – small animals can be just as fun to look after and spend time with. Here are our top 5 small animals we recommend you consider getting your child.
One of the most popular small animals, hamsters must be kept in a large cage with plenty of enrichment. This should include tunnels, toys, and a variety of different foods for them to try. Hamsters usually live for around 3 years, and although some can be nippy and quick – they are generally very loveable and active!
Sweet and gentle in nature, they love to be held and cuddled and are the perfect first animal for your child. They do however need socialisation and are best in pairs or groups, therefore if you are only wanting to add one animal to your family it may be best to avoid guinea pigs. They have a longer lifespan than hamsters and usually live around 5-7 years, but do require more space and effort to look after them.
Rabbits have an agreeable nature, and are very loving and enjoy attention. However, they do require a lot of care and maintenance, especially lots of space and the correct nutrition. This can consist of feeding hay, grass, and fresh vegetables to keep them healthy and happy.
Roughly living for around two years, they have a relatively short life span and are a great option for kids who do not want to be too involved in their day to day life, as they enjoy their own space. Make sure they have a cool and breezy place to live in, as they are very susceptible to hot weather, which can give them respiratory and fur problems.
A fish can be a great first animals for your child, as it is a small investment in both time and money compared to other animals. They are low maintenance, and you do not need to spend hundreds on vet bills or fish food. Having a fish can be fascinating, you could even get a few different types of breeds and a larger tank if they are able to prove they are responsible, and have done a good job looking after one or two fish.