Most people can remember their first pet from childhood. Kids who get pets during their childhood learn to socialize with others at an early age while others wait until they’re adults before they venture into pet parenthood. Either way, there are certain pets that are better suited to your age and maturity level.
First Pets for Kids
When buying pets for children, consider that some children might like the idea of a pet but not the pet itself – especially if it is big. It could seem threatening to them. For any child, choose a baby pet if you can. Then, the pet can grow up with the child.
Fish – Even small kids can learn to feed, clean and care for their pet. Fish don’t need much attention beyond feeding. Choose fish for kids who are at least school age who have learned not to grab at things like fish swimming in an aquarium.
Gerbils – They are more amenable than guinea pigs. Kids can watch them play and learn to feed them. Again, they are best for children who are at least school age who can learn to handle them with care and also feed them properly.
Puppies – Introducing kids to new pets when the pet is a baby is helpful to them both. Kids learn to touch them with gentle hands, walk them and learn how they interact.
Frogs – Little kids often like these a lot. They can watch them hop around and listen to them croak. Frogs often eat live bugs so kids can spend time catching some and watching their slimy pet eat.
First Pets for Adults
With adults, pet choice can be a little more flexible because of the maturity level. One thing to consider though: How much time do you have to devote to a pet?
Cats – Cats make great pets for homes where the owners have to be out for at least part of the day. Some like to cuddle and others can do without it. Either way, cats are generally self-sufficient and don’t mind being left alone for longer periods of time as long as they have food and water.
Dogs – The type of dog you choose will depend on your activity level. If you don’t have time to housebreak them, choose an older dog. For busy people, a dog that doesn’t need much exercise is ideal. If you are active, choose a dog that can keep up with you.
Choosing a pet takes research and planning, especially for your first pet. Consider age, time commitment and activity level of the soon-to-be owner.