Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Best Beginner Pets for Children

Pets are a great way to help children learn about responsibility, compassion, and even about friendship. Of course, the amount of time you, as the parent, are willing to put into caring for the pet is also important. While you can insist that your child be responsible, ensuring the animal's well being ultimately falls to you. Here are a few suggestions of good “beginner pets” for children.
Rats and mice are actually good pets for children because they are small and don’t need a ton of space. Their care is also inexpensive. Because they are quite social and intelligent, they can be trained to do tricks. They enjoy being around people and, even through they are nocturnal in the wild, they have been known to adjust their schedules in anticipation of spending time with their people.
Rodent pets need something to chew on to keep their teeth worn down. If you do not give them things to chew on, they will chew on things they aren’t supposed to. They rarely bite –generally only when scared or possibly when a mother is looking out for her babies. They may nibble if they smell food on your hands.
Rodent pets can live for several years. There is some evidence that rats and mice allowed out of their cages (while carefully supervised, or course) live longer.
Your local animal shelter may have rats and mice available for adoption.
Check out the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association for more information on caring for rodent pets. You can find them at www.afrma.org.
When properly cared for, fish can be long-lasting pets. Many are relatively easy and inexpensive to nurture. Goldfish are some of the easiest fish to have as pets. They can live as long as 20 years. Tropical fish are very colorful, but you should keep them in groups of five or more. Some tropical fish are aggressive and should only be housed with fish of the same size.
Some varieties of fish require elaborate set ups with aquariums, filters, heaters, lights, gravel, etc. However, most actually require very little other than a bowl, gravel, clean water and food. There are 100 different varieties of goldfish, and most just need a tank with a good filtration system.
Learn more about caring for fish as pets at www.howtocareforfish.com.
Leopard Gecko
These geckos often make good starter pets for children. They’re quiet and clean, don’t need a lot of attention, and can even be left alone for several days. They require a 10-gallon tank, a lamp for light, a heating pad and a box to hide under.
They eat crickets, mealworms, and wax worms. They require vitamins, supplements and, of course, plenty of water.
Find more information about caring for a Leopard Gecko visit www.wikihow.com/Care-for-a-Leopard-Gecko.