Children and pets: For some time your child has been asking you for a little companion. The dog or the cat seems too restrictive to you, you want to direct your child’s choice towards a smaller animal, which he can take care of. Before making a decision, you really want to know which animal is « suitable » for your toddler, not only for his age but also for his temperament. Here are some tips that should help you do that.
In this article, we will discuss the relation between children and pets.
What are the benefits for children of having a pet?
Having a dog or cat in the house, for example, can stimulate a baby’s gross motor skills, because he may want to follow his animal when it moves. Likewise, the toddler exercises his language when he calls and talks to his animal.
From the age of 2, children can have fun with a cat or dog under the close supervision of an adult. These animals can therefore become interesting play partners. For example, toddlers can have fun running errands with their dog or playing with their cat using a suitable and safe toy.
The animal can also become the child’s main confidant in difficult or very happy times. It is to him that he will deliver both his sorrows and his joys.
The interactions a toddler has with his or her pet are also an important source of learning. Indeed, the child must learn to approach and gently stroke his animal and respect it. Unlike a stuffed animal, a living animal doesn’t always want to play when the child wants it. If a toddler pulls their cat’s tail, it will tell him that he doesn’t like it. Likewise, his dog will make it clear to him that he does not want to be disturbed when he eats.
Which pet to choose for your child?
The cat is the most common pet in our homes. In general, cats get along well with children, they like to have fun with them and to be petted. Its maintenance is, moreover, less restrictive than that of a dog. In contrast, the child is dependent on the goodwill of the animal. He can’t force a cat to play or pet him if he doesn’t want to.
Some dogs don’t like to be home alone all day when their owners are working. Others need more exercise and more space. Some dogs are less suitable for small apartment spaces.
Very gentle, it seems he can appease even the most unruly children. He likes to snuggle up in the arms. Affectionate, intelligent, curious, and very sociable, the dwarf rabbit is an ideal companion for children from 4 years old.
Birds and fish
A parakeet, finch, canary, or goldfish can be a happy compromise. Some larger birds, such as parrots, can make interesting companions, but they require more care. Keep in mind that they can live for many years, 15 years, and sometimes up to 80 years.
Some of these birds can transmit psittacosis-causing bacteria, the symptoms of which resemble the flu. Usually mild, this disease can nevertheless lead to pulmonary complications such as pneumonia.
They don’t make noise, but they still require maintenance. For young children, a jar containing one or two fish will do. But the child will tire of them, especially since he cannot cuddle them. For adolescents and adults, a more stocked aquarium will be much more interesting. Again, you will need to feed them and clean the aquarium.
Reptiles and turtles
Reptiles are another possibility, especially for people who are allergic to other animals. However, the conditions for keeping and caring for these animals are quite complex. So you have to be well prepared to welcome them and take care of them properly. Not to be considered the first choice if you have young children.
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