At preschool age, most children dream of their own pet. They ask their parents or Santa Claus to buy a fluffy friend. They try to bring home every kitten or puppy they meet on the street. At some point, parents decide to encourage the baby’s desire but immediately wonder what kind of pet to choose for a preschool child so that he can cope with caring for a pet. But for sure, when buying a pet for your kid, you personally have to take responsibility for another living creature. Ask yourself how committed you can be in care questions: walking, feeding, brushing, cleaning, etc.
Making an informed choice
Parents and children should understand that a pet is not a toy but a living creature that requires no less attention than all other family members. For him, you need to create comfortable conditions, equip his own corner, and provide the necessary care. Naturally, responsibility will have to be distributed among family members because a preschooler is unlikely to independently raise a pet.
They are not very whimsical in terms of care – they are quite clean, and they do not require daily walking. However, cats are characterized by a wayward nature, especially in some specific breeds, such as Siamese or British cats. The kid must be acknowledged by behavior rules when communicating with these pets. You can demonstrate to them an example of how to stroke or play with cats. In general, cats get along quite well with preschoolers – they allow themselves to be stroked and participate in joint games.
It is believed that the best cat breeds for children are known for their affectionate and calm nature, but at the same time they are playful and energetic. When choosing a kitten for a baby, you should pay attention to his temperament: calm kittens are suitable for calm children, and, on the contrary, an active child will be much more interesting with an energetic pet. What breeds of cats get along best with children?
British cat is a breed which is famous for its restraint and independence, but not in relations with children. They are most attached to the child, and therefore will share games and sleep with him with genuine interest and devotion.
They are friendly, active, and intelligent pets that almost all children dream of. Naturally, dogs show their best qualities only after training, so it is essential to go with a new pet to training with dog handlers. Besides, dogs need to be walked daily, which can quickly become boring for a little animal lover.
Research shows that children who grow up next to animals are less susceptible to inner fears, are more sociable, and deal with stress more easily. No wonder dogs help in the rehabilitation of children with serious diseases and autism. Children in a family with dogs have better immunity, are less prone to colds and allergies.
Active games and long walks with pets are unconditional benefits. Communicating with animals, children learn to be attentive to other people’s desires and personal space. Even toddlers quickly develop responsibility for their four-legged friends. Finally, communication with the dog gives the child pure, genuine joy. And only this reason can be enough to decide to adopt a pet into the family.
Even a very good-natured dog can react aggressively if grabbed by the tail while busy with a pet bone. Therefore, even before the pet’s appearance in the family, the child needs to be explained the basic rules for communicating with the animal. For example, you should not touch the dog when it is sleeping or eating, and you should not chase the dog when it is leaving. Bared teeth or growling are the last warnings before the dog bites.
Children under 10 years of age do not recognize a dog’s emotions very well, so the animal may attack them. The child may ignore pet cues, annoy him with obsessive attention, or overly intense interaction. Dog handlers’ recommendations for children under two years old are straightforward: babies should never be alone with dogs!
It would seem that a baby of any age can cope with such pets without any problems. However, as expert’s advice shows, caring for the aquarium cannot be called simple – you need to monitor the water’s purity, feed the fish on time, and provide the necessary aeration and aquarium light. If you decide to start an aquarium for a preschooler, it is better to buy one or more low-maintenance goldfish and put them in a small aquarium. If you decide to get your child a whole marine world with lots of fish, you must be well prepared in questions of water tanks, filters, aquarium lightning, etc.
If a child asks to have an animal, but cats and dogs, for one or another reason, do not seem to be the most rational option, you can opt for domestic rodents. Hamster, guinea pig, rat – all these animals are quite suitable for families with preschool children.
However, the best option is the guinea pig – a friendly, intelligent, and unpretentious rodent. You can get a rat, but not everyone likes their appearance. Hamsters, on the other hand, often bite and are predominantly nocturnal. Rabbits require a large cage and careful grooming that preschoolers may not provide.
For babies, birds are unlikely to be the preferred pet option. It is difficult to play with them, and the care of the cells must be regular. The birds themselves are also not entirely comfortable in families with small children – babies are very active and noisy, which makes the birds worry and shout. If the child himself wanted to have a bird, the choice should be stopped on budgerigars because they are the least whimsical.
Some children show an increased interest in exotic pets such as snakes, lizards, turtles. Not all parents agree on such an unusual pet, especially considering the need to create certain conditions for reptiles. Taking care of such pets requires responsibility not only from children but also from other family members.
There are some safety rules on having reptiles as pets. Wash your hands and your child’s hands after contact with reptiles. Do not touch your mouth after handling your reptile or anything it has touched. Wait until you wash your hands carefully. Teach your child to do the same.
Keep reptiles out of any area where food is prepared or eaten. Use hot water to wash any surfaces the reptile has had contact with. Only wash your reptile in its own basin. Never use sinks or the bath. Waste water and droppings should be disposed of in the toilet or outside drain.
- Any, even the most seemingly unpretentious pet requires regular and careful care. Preschool children are unlikely to cope with all the responsibilities, so adults’ help will be simply needed. If you cannot provide your pet with proper attention, you should not get it.
- Children often bring home stray animals, often exhausted and requiring veterinary assistance. Do not scold the kid and do not throw away the unexpected guest. Try to help the animal as much as possible, and then place it in good and caring hands. This behavior will teach the child to be sympathetic to others and help smaller brothers.
- Before you bring your pet home, be sure to find out if your kid has any allergic reactions to.
When choosing a pet, you need to take into account a number of other important factors: the average life expectancy of the animal, the availability of free time for adults, the area of the apartment, material capabilities and individual characteristics of the child. And remember that pets become full-fledged family members, so their appearance should be a deliberate and joint decision.