Best Pets for Kids: How to Choose Pets for Kids

Filed under: Pets

When I was a kid, my parents indulged nearly every animal whim that I had, as long as I was responsible enough to back it up. And believe me, there were many. Puppies, cats, a parakeet, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs... we had them all. As an animal lover, I'd like to do the same thing for my own kids. As a parent, I see now exactly how much responsibility goes into owning a pet and it gives me pause.

Jeff Corwin was on the Today show recently talking about the best pets for kids, and his choices may surprise you. For instance, if Junior wants a reptile, Jeff recommends a corn snake over a lizard or a turtle. And he thinks rats make far better pets than hamsters or gerbils. No matter what kind of pet a family chooses, however, Jeff has some stern advice for all of us:
  • Always choose an animal that has been bred in captivity.
  • Think once, twice, then think again about whether you're ready to be a responsible pet owner.
  • Consider life spans -- a corn snake can live up to 15-20 years.
  • Many non-traditional animals require parental control.
  • Do your research. Pets are not an impulse purchase.
Watch Jeff talk more about pets in the video below, then share your pet experiences with us in comments!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.