Mom, Can We Get a Betta?
Yesterday I was talking with a friend and she mentioned her two young children were asking if they could have a dog or cat. She is wise enough not to give in to the pressure, knowing the financial aspects and responsibility adding a dog or cat to the family brings. Most kids do enjoy having pets but don’t know the responsibilities associated with pet ownership.
As a compromise, there are some pets that don’t have large associated expenses and work well for teaching children how to be responsible pet owners. One example is a betta fish. The male betta is quite colorful and fun to watch. Since they are actually a Siamese Fighting Fish, care should be taken if you are thinking of purchasing more than one fish to ensure they will be compatible. Bettas don’t require a lot of special equipment or a large amount of care, but they do require regular feeding and cleaning.
Some birds, like parakeets or budgies, are a little more interactive and can also be good first pets for children. Regular feeding and cage cleaning will be required here.
Guinea pigs are another good choice as a first pet for kids. They tend to have easygoing personalities unless they are not handled correctly. If you do opt for a guinea pig, be sure to educate your child on the correct way to hold him. Regular feeding (care should be taken to ensure guinea pigs are fed the appropriate foods) and cage cleaning will be required to keep a guinea pig happy and healthy.
These are just some of the options available to teach your child the responsibilities of pet ownership. Do your research prior to deciding on your child’s first pet to ensure you have the appropriate food and housing. Make a list of the tasks that will be necessary for the new pet and track your child’s follow through before taking steps to bring other pets into your home.