Pet for Children: Parents Should Keep These Tips in Mind

The desire to have their own pet is very important to many children. No wonder: you can play with them, cuddle or watch them. But there are a few things to consider when choosing the right pet. PetReader gives tips and decision-making aids.

Children and pets – that seems like a good combination. Children can learn a lot from dogs, cats, and other pets. For example, to respect another living being, to understand it, and to take responsibility for it. It also teaches them how their own behavior can affect other living beings.

In order for everyday life with pets and children to be a success, a few basic things should first be clarified. Parents should ask themselves these questions before buying a pet:

Which Pets are Best for Children?

Dog, cat, bird, fish, or a guinea pig? Pets can be very different. It is therefore important to know exactly why your child wants a pet.

Would they like to cuddle, play or just watch? This can be the first clue as to which pet is right for your child. In addition, animal hair allergies in the family should of course be taken into account and the question of how much time, money, and space is available.

Another point is the age of the children and the extent to which they can take on regular tasks. In the case of animals such as dogs or cats, with which children can establish the closest contact because they do not live in a cage, it can help if the pet is already used to dealing with children or if the pet and child grow up together.

You don’t even know which animal species might be considered? Then the pet database of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture may help. In addition to the “classics” dog, cat, and hamster, possible animal species, their special features, care, life expectancy, and other useful information are listed there.

How Much Time Can I Spend?

Even if your child promises to take care of the pet with self-sacrifice: Without your support, it will (mostly) not work. Parents need to help their children, especially when caring for dogs.

The portal “” mentions at least two hours as a guideline for the amount of time that is consumed by a dog every day: walking, feeding, grooming, playing, maybe even (puppy) training – all of this is fun, but also eats Time.

Parents (and children) should be aware of this. The portal estimates around an hour a day to take care of cats, budgies, and guinea pigs. For fish about 30 minutes.

How Much Money Can and Will I Spend on a Pet?

The basic equipment alone costs several hundred euros for many animals. In addition, there are annual fixed costs, for example for insurance, food, veterinary costs, or the dog tax. The latter contributes (among other things) to the fact that the annual base costs are highest for dogs, namely around $1,100 to $1,700. Cats devour around $900 a year, just like guinea pigs. Ornamental birds and fish, on the other hand, are usually a little cheaper.

Do I Want to Be Permanently Attached to an Animal?

At first, pets are still new and exciting – but when in doubt, children quickly lose interest and see it as a burden rather than a joy. In that case, you should be aware that you are still responsible for the animal’s welfare.

And depending on how old your children are, the pet will still be alive if the children move out and cannot (or do not want to) take the animal with them. Dogs, cats, and budgies can live up to around 15 years, while guinea pigs and fish can live for around ten years.

Which Insurance Makes Sense?

For dogs, “” recommends taking out pet owner liability insurance. This covers the costs if, for example, the dog bites other dogs or people or causes other damage. This insurance is mandatory in many federal states. But even if not, it is always advisable.

Damage caused by small animals, on the other hand, is usually covered by private liability insurance. Anyone who buys an aquarium should inform the household contents insurance, which pays for any water damage in the apartment that may result from this.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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