Whether they are giggling at a lapping tongue in the face or crying at a toilet-side funeral, there is nothing quite like the bond between kids and their pets. Children love having pets to interact with and help care for, but certain living situations, allergies, or individual preferences may put restrictions on what type of pet a child can have. However, for kids that cannot have a dog or cat, they can still become pet owners, as critters of all different kinds make wonderful family pets and are looking for homes.
Pet Suggestions For Kids Who Cannot Have A Dog
If you live in an apartment that does not allow free-roaming pets, a lot of furry friends live behind bars. Hamsters, for instance, are loners who do not require a lot of space. They can also be taken out of the cage for a child to play with as long as it is supervised. While hamsters will tolerate gentle play, they could definitely bite if in a sour mood. An older child who could be taught how to properly handle a small rodent would be a good candidate for a pet such as this, while a younger child should probably enjoy the hamster by watching it play in its cage. A hamster’s diet consists of pellets sold at most general stores and any pet store.
Guinea Pigs and Gerbils
Larger and tamer than a hamster is guinea pigs and gerbils. These little creatures are able to endure more rough play and can be handled by most children. Although they will sink their teeth into an arm when feeling threatened, they are much less likely to than hamsters. Unlike smaller rodents, they have more personality making them quite lovable and fun. Guinea pigs are salad eaters and require a diet of fresh vegetables, while gerbils feed on dry seeds and nuts. Neither likes to dine alone. Since they crave companionship with their own kind, keeping several in one large cage would be ideal.
While the small, fuzzy creatures would be great for those living in a restricted pet area, they are a cause of concern for allergies and pet dander. Be that the case, take flight on a more feathery solution. A parakeet is not only very entertaining to watch but is quite the conversationalist. With patient training, a parakeet can learn to speak quite well. It will also perch happily on a child’s finger and sing a song, but care must be taken that the bird is not squeezed while being held. Parakeets can also become sick if not properly taken care of. Keeping them away from open doors or windows is very important as they will catch colds if positioned near a draft. They survive on a diet of seeds and fruit.
When looking for a more cryptic companion, consider a gecko. Known for being tame and easy to maintain, these lizards will crawl their way into a child’s heart. Although they are not extremely interactive with humans, children love watching in amazement as they scurry up and down their arms. Geckos are very gentle and will not bite but do need to be handled carefully as they are small and somewhat fragile. Geckos should be kept in an aquarium and do not require a lot of space or UV light. As for roommates, male geckos discriminate against their own gender and cannot coexist.
Kids and pets are certainly not limited to a dog or cat. Sometimes certain circumstances mean kids cannot have a dog or other conventional type of pet. With a little research, finding a pet that will work in any situation is possible. Not only can a child find a pet that he is best suited for, but as a result, he may just be finding his new best friend.
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