Hearing kids beg for a cute little puppy is something that lots of parents have to deal with. While some will give in and choose to buy a cat or dog, possibly because they want one themselves, others will be hesitant because kids hardly ever realize how much work goes into a pet. “I will take care of it, I promise,” is a plea that lots of parents have heard over the years, only to find out that, sometimes, taking a ten year old at their word might be a mistake. So if they are concerned about whether a kid is responsible enough to handle a dog, parents might want to find one of the best small pets for kids first. There are several good starter pets for kids to see if they will be responsible enough for a dog.
1. Hermit Crabs
While they are certainly not as cute as a puppy, hermit crabs are good pets for kids because they are low maintenance but still kind of fun to watch. All they require is fresh food daily, some water, and an occasional misting to keep them moist. Plus, the housing they need is simple, making them a great warm up for a larger, more needy pet.
2. Betta Fish
While goldfish might be the most classic aquatic pet choice, betta fish tend to be a better option for kids. Goldfish can be fragile, and often require a pretty elaborate tank and filter set up to stay alive for a long time. However, betta fish only need a small bowl that has to be cleaned occasionally and can live for two to three years without too much maintenance.
3. Guinea Pigs
If they are not taken care of properly, guinea pigs might start to stink a bit. But, while the smell might be a nuisance, this provides incentive for kids to take care of them, which makes them a great pet to help them prepare for a dog. Plus, they are a lot of fun to play with because they love games like hide and seek, and they will often squeak with excitement when their owners show up, making them more personable and enjoyable than a hermit crab or fish.
4. And Older Dog or Cat
Puppies and Kittens are cute, but require lots of work and patience to get them properly trained. Older animals make good starter pets for kids because they are likely already trained and understand how to act around people. While they might not last as long as a young pup, older ones can provide just the same amount of loyalty and companionship. This makes them a good starter pets for kids who are enamored by the thought of having a puppy that they can call their own.