Pets for Children?

What pet should I get

Pets for Children




There are a number of reasons why you could be asking yourself “What pet should I get?” But have you thought about what are the best pets for children? You just know your child will eventually asks for a pet, so why not discover what are recommended as the best pets for children. 

When Joshua was born, we already had a cat (If you were to ask my wife, it was always mine) named Phoenix. But in February 2014 (at the tender age of 16), he had passed away, curled up in a neighbors garage.

Until that point, neither of the boys had asked about getting another pet. But once Phoenix had passed away, literally, a day or so later, Harrison asked the question, and it went something like this…

“Dad, when is Phoenix coming back?”
“He’s not. Phoenix was sick and has died. He’s gone to up to heaven now.”
“Did he need a ladder?”
“No, he didn’t need a ladder.”
“Can we have another cat?”

It was at this point that I changed the subject and hoped he wouldn’t ask again, for a while at least.

How wrong was I! A mere week later, Harrison asked the same question.

In the week that had passed, my wife and I both agreed that if we were to get another pet, then it wasn’t going to be a cat or a dog. With Joshua’s asthma, Phoenix was restricted to where he could and couldn’t go. I for one didn’t think it was fair for a cat to live outside and Lucy really didn’t want another cat, period.


Cute Cat Pictures

All it takes is a lost cat to turn up at your door (like this one), and it could prompt your kids to ask that “Can we get a cat?”


Pets For Children - What to consider before buying a pet

Choosing a pet shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when buying pets for children. And while an animal’s well-being has to be the top priority, there are so many factors to consider before making the ultimate decision about whether or not you should be getting a pet.

Before buying a pet, you may wish to think about
  • Start up costs – Don’t forget to think about the accessories your may need to buy with you pet. For example, while rabbits make great pets for children, they’re going to need a hutch, a food and water bowl, and a run. No matter what pet you buy, there will always be a cost attached.
  • Ongoing costs – It goes without saying, your pet will need feeding, but have you thought about bedding, maintenance of hutches/cages, Pet Insurance, and vet fees? When we had our dog, we discovered that although we had pet insurance, we still had to pay an excess. And also, as she older, the insurance quotes went up.
  • Who’s going to look after them? – I guess you know already that’s it’s going to be you, despite all the promises made in the pet shop pre going through the till. But seriously, before you buy any pets for children, think about who’s going to have the time to clean out the hutch/cage twice a week, or walk the dog every day?
  • Do you rent or are you moving? – If you rent a property then you may want to check with your landlord whether or not you can have pets. While some allow them, others have a strict NO PETS policy. Also, if you’re thinking of moving, is it worth waiting? Cats in a new neighborhood can often get lost and moving a fish tank can be a messy job.
  • Allergies – Pets for children are great to have around the house, but explaining to your child that they can’t have a cat or dog because of an allergy, isn’t easy. This could be something you’re faced with if a family member is asthmatic or suffers from allergies.
  • Can you handle them? – Without a doubt, small animals are cute. But just like children, they are going to get bigger and stronger one day. I have a friend that was in the army and being away was a regular occurrence. He brought an Alsatian puppy so his wife would feel safe while he was away but as the dog grow bigger and stronger, she could no longer handle him. Consequently, they had to pass him on.Snakes and bearded dragons to name just a few, are also animals that go onto grow rather large over a period of time.


Suitable Pets for Children

If you are serious about buying your child/children a pet, here are some suggestions that can be suitable pets for children.

Suitable Pets for Children – Guinea Pigs

Pets for Children - Guinea Pigs

Our latest family members.










Meet Guinea and Zane, our latest edition to the family.

These two Guinea Pigs are one of the two things that we ended up with after a trip to Pets at Home.

I must admit, I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but perhaps that was more to do with the fact that I had never had them before now.

As you can see, although hard to catch, Guinea Pigs are very tame and have a natural instinct to just sit still, making the ideal pets for children. They also malt a lot so if you don’t like fur everywhere, then just be warned!

What We Brought –. 2 x Guinea Pigs, Hutch, Hutch Cover (to keep the rain out and deter the foxes), Food Bowl x2, Water Bottle, Play Tube, Wooden Toys (to chew on) Playpen, Hay, Sawdust, Hutch Spray, Dried Food, Fresh Food.

Overall Start-up Costs (for us) – £194.75

What do Guinea Pigs Eat? – Hay – Dried Food – Fresh Food

Further Information

Useful Books

Save Money! Before buying a book, please remember to use your library. It is a great resource and, what’s more, it’s free. You could also outsource your book first, take it home and, if you find it useful, then order it.

Suitable Pets for Children – Fish


Sponge Bob Fish Tank

Our Sponge Bob themed fish tank.

I have kept fish before and I have to say, it wasn’t a success. However, while it lasted, I did find them very relaxing to watch.

Twenty years later, a little older and a little wiser, I decided to have another go at keeping cold water fish.

The staff at Pets at Home were very helpful, and after an educational chat, I discovered where I went wrong. Rushing into setting up your tank isn’t a good idea.

Just so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did, here is a little bit of advice on how to set up your first fish tank.

  • What Size FishTank Do I Choose? – I know it’s obvious, but you need to consider two things when choosing the size of your tank. Firstly, you need to think about where it’s going and whether or not you have the space for it. It can’t go in direct sunlight. Secondly, what and how many fish, do you intend to put in the tank?
  • What Fish Do I Choose? – This was my biggest mistake I made before. I had brought a tank and filled it with between 8-10 different Gold Fish. Now, after my little chat with the staff at Pets at Home, I discovered that the 64ltr tank I was about to buy would only accommodate three Gold Fish AT THE MOST! What I didn’t know before (and I do now) is that Gold Fish eat a lot, grow a lot and poo a lot. Therefore, the tank and their environment becomes dirty rather quickly. Try buying smaller fish such as Guppies, Danios, or Platys. Because they are smaller fish, you will also be able to keep between ten – twelve fish in a 64ltr tank.
  • Treat Your Water First. – Once you have decided what tank you want, buy your decorative stones, ornaments (check out our Sponge Bob ornaments), plants and water treatment solution. Rinse your stones, fill up with treated water, (follow the instructions) and then add your ornaments and plants. Do not add any fish for about three weeks. After the first week, take a sample of water to your local aquatic shop and get it tested. Keep doing this every seven days until it has been cleared by the staff.
  • Buying Your First Fish – Once you have had the all clear, buy your first batch of fish (no more than about four) and introduce them to your tank as instructed by the staff. Do not buy all your fish at once, wait a couple of weeks for them to settle in, test the water again and if you have the all clear, then buy some more.
  • How Often Should I Feed My Fish? – Don’t make the mistake I did and over feed your fish. I followed the instruction on the packet and was surprised when I went from twice a day to once every other day. I was told by staff in two different shops to allow two flakes per fish, every other day.

What We Brought – 64ltr Tank (starter kit complete with pump and light), Blue Gravel, Ornaments, 2x Live Plants, Fish Food, Tap Water Treatment (BIOACTIVE TAPSAFE),

Overall Start-up Costs – £125.00

What do Fish Eat? – Fish Flakes – Blood Worms – Pellets

As I discovered previously, keeping fish isn’t as easy as I thought. For further information, here are a few websites you might find useful.

Further Information


Useful Books


Save Money! Before buying a book, please remember to use your library. It is a great resource and, what’s more, it’s free. You could also outsource your book first, take it home and, if you find it useful, then order it.

Suitable Pets for Children – Frogs and Toads



Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad

Frogs and toads can be fun to keep as pets for children. They are quite easy to maintain and their diet is straight forward too. Some species may require heated tanks but others such as this oriental fire-bellied toad will be okay in a normal tank. Cleaning them out isn’t much of a chore either.
Your child may find these pets fascinating to watch when they feed too. I have kept frogs and toads in the past (Green Tree Frogs, Fire-Belly Toad’s and a Tomato Frog) and found them quite relaxing to watch.Obviously, these are not pets for children that are looking for a pet to hug and stroke.   

What You Will Need 

  • Glass terrarium 30 x 30 x 45cm (12″ x 12″ x 18″)
  • Bark substrate
  • Water dish – Small
  • Jungle vine – Small
  • Heat mat
  • Artificial exotic plants such as Mandarin and Ficus (four plants)
  • Digital Thermometer-Hygrometer
  • Spray bottle
  • Calcium dust
  • Real Sumatra wood

Overall Start-up Costs – This will vary from supplier to supplier. I have researched some sites and found it on offer for £95 at (at time of publish)

What do They Eat? – Live Crickets – Grubs

Here are a few websites you might find useful.

Further Information


Useful Books


Save Money! Before buying a book, please remember to use your library. It is a great resource and, what’s more, it’s free. You could also outsource your book first, take it home and, if you find it useful, then order it.

Suitable Pets for Children – Cats and Dogs


Cat and Dog Together

Image Credit:

Cats and dogs are going to be by far the most expensive choice when it comes to finding suitable pets for children.  Further more, without pet insurance, vet bills can be expensive. 
Cats and dogs are with you for a very long time and although they are cute whilst they are young, some breeds of dogs can have problems in their later years. Cat’s on the other hand, seem to grow old gracefully.Please also consider whether your child has any allergies as these are not considered the best pets for people with asthma.

What You Will Need – Both will need, Bedding, Bowls for food & water, Traveling Crate, Collar, ID Tag, Grooming Equipment, Toys, shampoo

In addition to this, dogs will also need – Anti pulling aid, Car harness, Car guard, Lead, Kennel, Dog run, Poo Bags, Play-pen, Door gates,

Overall Start-up Costs – This will vary tremendously between one owner (and supplier) to another.

What do They Eat? – Feeding your cat or dog can mean adding an additional £5 per week to your weekly shopping bill. Tinned food, Dried food, Fresh Meat or Fish, Treats.

There is plenty of information on the Internet for keeping cats and dogs. Here are some sites you might want to start at though.

Further Information
Useful Books


Save Money! Before buying a book, please remember to use your library. It is a great resource and, what’s more, it’s free. You could also outsource your book first, take it home and, if you find it useful, then order it. 


Other Pets For Children You May Wish To Consider

You could decide against any of these suggestions and go with something completely different. If you, then why not let us know? In the meanwhile, if you’ve still not decided, why not take a look at this list of other popular (and not so popular) pets for children.

Gerbil | Rat | Mouse | Stick Insect | Rabbits

Hamster | Chinchilla |


What Others Are Saying About Pets And Their Children...

To feature, please send a photo of yourself with your pet, along with a brief description of your experience of choosing and living with your child’s pet(s). In return, we will provide a backlink to your own blog.


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