How to Select a Perfect Pet for your Family


For many kids, the family pet is their best friend, a companion who not only provides unconditional love, but who also teaches them about friendship, responsibility, loyalty, and empathy. While most family pets are cats and dogs, other animals can be wonderful additions to your home. Rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, small birds, and some fish can make great family pets, for instance, as long as they receive the specialized care they need. Even though these animals are smaller than a cat or dog, they require just as much attention and care.

  • How old should my child be before we get a pet?

Although many experts recommend a child be at least six years old before a pet is

brought into the family, you are the best judge of your child’s maturity. At the very least, your child should exhibit self-control and understand (and obey) the word “no.” If you think your child is ready for a pet, first introduce her to friends’ well-behaved pets so you can observe your child’s behaviour around them.

  • Should we get a young animal or an older one?

Many families with young children choose a kitten or puppy, believing these pets are

safer, easier to train, and more adaptable than older, larger pets. But this isn’t always true. Because puppies and kittens are fragile, require extra time and care, and are prone to play-related scratching and biting, they may not be appropriate for a household with young children. Adopting a friendly, calm, adult animal who has a known history of getting along with young children may be the best choice for your family. Before making a decision, talk with animal experts such as veterinarians, animal trainers, and animal shelter adoption counsellors who can help you select the right animal for your family.

  • What animals shouldn’t be pets?

Cats and dogs have been domesticated over thousands of years, selected for attributes that make them suited to live in our homes. This isn’t the case for wild animals such as reptiles and amphibians that fare best in their natural habitats without our interference and shouldn’t be pets. Most parrots are also unsuitable as pets, as they, too, haven’t lived in domestication like dogs and cats. Only a few breeds make good companions.

  • How can I help my pet feel safe?

Pets, like children, need time to adjust to new surroundings and circumstances, and need opportunities for “down time.” Provide pets with a place of their own where they can retreat from children. Don’t put your pets in situations where they feel threatened. For example, dogs left alone in yards can be accidentally or intentionally teased by neighbourhood children. What’s more, pets live longer, healthier, and safer lives when kept indoors with the family

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  5. How to Aid Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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