I will tell you right now that with a baby and a toddler at home, the idea of cleaning up after another creature isn't appealing in the least. But I have fond memories of our childhood dog and slightly traumatic memories of losing cat after cat over the years. Thinking ahead to when my kids can maybe help clean up another creature's poop so I don't have to do it all, I'm starting to consider pets that are super cute and great for kids, so I can start prepping them for their fur buddy responsibilities now.
When it comes to a pet that your kids can help with and enjoy, it makes sense to start small, with a gerbil, fish, or even a bird. Cats and dogs are also good for kids in their own way, although older children will be more able to help with taking care of them. In general, owning and taking care of a pet provides a range of benefits for children and adults alike.
While a pet for your kid might seem like it will instantly add to your to-do list, there are tons of benefits, too, from helping your kid socialize to making them less allergy-prone.
Dr. Sue Doescher, a psychologist at Oregon State University, told The New York Times that pets can make children more cooperative and teach them how to share. She explained, ''Having a pet improves children's role-taking skills because they have to put themselves in the pet's position and try to feel how the pet feels. And that transfers to how other kids feel.'' Teaching your little ones compassion sounds like a darn good reason to bring a pet into the mix.
If you are on the hunt for the perfect adorable pet for your kid, here's where to start.