Choosing a family pet is like choosing a memory. Your child will remember their pets for the rest of their life. Picking the right fluffy or scaly buddy will make sure those memories are fond ones. Here are a few of the very best pets for families.
It may seem obvious, but the dog is called “man’s best friend” for a reason. There are dog salons and dog fashions. People treat pups like their kids. There are plenty of gentle dogs that are perfectly matched with families that have children. Typically, gentle breeds include the Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Labrador, but a dog should be judged by its unique personality, not by its breed. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers have a bad reputation, but there are plenty of well-mannered pure-bred pooches. Before adopting a dog, spend time with them and get a little feisty while playing. Ask the owner or shelter employee how they are with kids and other pets. This way, you’ll get a sense of their temperament.
The cat is typically laid-back and affectionate. If your house is fairly quiet and mild-mannered, a cat could be a perfect fit. Be sure to test out potential allergic reactions before adopting a fluffy feline. Pink, runny eyes, sneezing and itchy skin are bad signs. If your kitty passes the allergy test, prepare for a friend for life. Though it depends on the breed, cats are known to live a long time — up to 17 years and older.
If you don’t want to deal with allergies and fur, a reptile is a great pet to keep. The turtle is mild-mannered and easily kept in a cage, but able to be taken out and played with. General care is simple — feed them vitamin-rich leaves and make sure to clean their cage often. Turtles can get smelly if their surroundings become dirty. Children might be afraid of their scaly appearance, so make sure to test out your child’s interest before investing the time and effort into bringing your shelled pet home.
Rabbits are super soft and ultra adorable, as well as generally sweet and laid back. Some breeds might not enjoy being handled, though, so before you introduce a rabbit to your family, make sure its temperament suits your lifestyle. If you plan on giving your bunny a ton of affection, make sure you get one that’s receptive to it as a baby.
These itty bitty creatures make great pets for kids. Though their cages can become messy and smelly without care, their active lifestyle will keep your family entertained. For extra fun and exercise, add a wheel and other toys to your hamster’s cage.
Watch: How to bring a dog home to meet the family