It was once said that children who grow up in pet households where there is a well-cared for animal, will grow up to be more confident, empathetic and successful.
Caring for a pet at home can be a wonderful learning experience for a young child. It teaches kindness, responsibility and empathy and provides the kind of hands-on learning experiences that books cannot.
Deciding what kind of pet can be best to have in a toddler household can be difficult, especially for parents who have not previously had their own pets.
Here are some pet ideas you might like to consider.
Dogs are amazing creatures who demonstrate endless love, empathy and companionship. Most breeds love to play, exercise and cuddle with their young owners. Even the biggest breeds can be exceedingly gentle with little children.
Dogs teach responsibility because they are high maintenance, needing regular exercise, grooming, engaging play and regular feeding. Encourage your tot to take part your dog’s care routine from the very start and they will become inseparable.
Better still, dogs come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and with breed-specific attributes which will fit in with your family’s lifestyle. Dogs are not judgemental and love without question.
Confident and friendly cats make ideal family pets in households with young children. Cats can be less expensive to keep than dogs and they are usually low maintenance.
Beloved pet cats demonstrate lifelong affection and teach children the importance of caring for others. Kittens are fantastically playful and will provide hours upon hours of entertainment for your little ones.
Many adore sitting on laps and don’t need to be walked twice a day in the pouring rain. Like humans, cats don’t always demand attention and enjoy their own space.
They are often quite inexpensive to care for and are independent.
If you want to introduce your toddler to the joys of pet ownership but without the hassle of twice a day walks or waiting for the cat to wander in at midnight, you might consider a rabbit.
Rabbits make a fantastic first pet and they are cute and cuddly enough to tickle the heart strings of any toddler.
Rabbits need careful and gentle handling and need time to become used to human company.
They are best in pairs because they love to socialise.
And, like cats and dogs, rabbits can teach your toddler so much about life, caring and responsibility.
Whatever pet you may be considering for your family home, do your research first. Some animals may demand more time than others, but all pets need a great deal of care and attention.
Many pets shed hair around the home which could mean extra cleaning, others need a great deal of regular exercise, while some need their cages cleaning daily. There are lots of pets, especially cats and dogs, in rescue centres across the country, longing for a family to love them.
Such charities have a great deal of experience and can give a huge amount of important advice to parents seeking a rescue animal or a young animal as a first pet for a tot. Whatever kind of pet graces your home for, hopefully, many years to come, always be careful never to leave your toddler alone or without supervision in the presence of an animal.
A well-kept pet will encourage empathy, love, caring and responsibility in even the youngest of children. Your young children will learn about animals through hands-on experience as well as gaining the love of a fellow-creature.
It can be a rewarding experience for the whole family and provide memories you will always treasure.