Exotic pets that are suitable for children

This must be prefaced by two points. The first being that in most areas anything other than a cat, dog, or livestock, is considered an “exotic pet”. The second, and most important, point is that there are no pets suitable “for” children. Pets should be for the family, and should never be the sole responsibility of a child regardless of their age or how much the promise to care for it. If you (the parent) are not willing to assist, remind, or ultimately take over, the care for the pet, then do not get one.

What makes a good family pet?

A good pet is one that is gentle and easy to care for. Pets that do not socialize, or may bite, might not keep the child’s interest, and affection, for very long.

Lifespan might be something worth considering. Often times pets with shorter life spans make better pets for kids. Although their death is inevitable (and can be used to teach children about dealing with death) this may mean the ongoing care commitment can be broken sooner. With a pet that lives for several years they may be a few issues, such as is it fair to get rid of a pet because it is now “boring” and what if the child moves out and cannot take the pet with them?

Nocturnal pets are not the best choice. These animals, such as hamsters, are active at night, as such they may keep their owners awake. Additionally they are not very exciting to watch in the day time.

Low maintenance pets are best. Minimal work for maximum enjoyment. A pet that does not need hours of time out of the cage every day will be less of a burden on the child. A cage that is not going to be smelly will be one that mom likes too!

Other concerns?

Before getting any pet, always check if you are legally allowed to have one. If you rent your home, check for landlord permission. Next, check the local laws. Many areas have laws restricting the types of pets that may be owned in that area.

Do you have a veterinarian that is familiar with your choice of pet? This is especially important if you select a bird, lizard, or other costly animal.

Can you meet the requirements for this pet? This refers to financial needs as well as time wise. Can you pay for ongoing feed costs, and housing requirements? It is unfair to expect a child to cover the expense of a pet. No reputable seller will let a minor purchase a pet, so technically YOU are the owner, and you are accepting full responsibility for this animal’s life.

It is generally illegal to catch and keep any wild animal, make sure you get your pet

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