So your kids want a pet. You don’t want anything too exotic or hard to keep; you’re not even sure you want take on the extra responsibility. Before making the decision to dismiss the idea altogether, you should know that evidence has proven that owning a pet helps children to learn empathy and to become more caring. It is also a great way to bring the family together and create a closer bond. If you are now considering getting a pet and need some ideas, here are some of the most popular family pets you will find in Australian households today.
Known as man’s best friend, dogs are protective, loyal and faithful companions. Dogs love to play and depending on the breed, most are great with kids. Golden Retrievers and Labradors are a popular choice however because of their size, they are recommended for families with children over the age of five. For younger children, smaller breeds like Maltese or Shih-tzu are a good choice.
Dogs require lots of love, attention and exercise so you will need to take into consideration the size of the dog and your backyard. Make sure you have enough time to regularly take your dog for a walk.
Not as boisterous as a dog, cats are a great pet if you don’t have the backyard space. Cats love to be patted and scratched and will often curl up on your lap. Easy to care for because they are reasonably self-sufficient, you may need to invest in a scratching pole to avoid your furniture from being scratched to shreds.
Pure bred cats are known to have shorter life spans than mixed breeds. A regular cat from kitten age is perfect for children to create a bond. If you have a baby in the house, make sure your cat does not have access to where your baby sleeps; cats have been known to curl up in bassinets for the warmth and suffocate babies.
Number wise, birds are the most common pet found in Australia. This is because bird owners will normally have a pair or more. Birds are social creatures and easy to keep. There are many different breeds of birds and depending on the state you live in, some breeds do require a licence so it is important to check the regulations in your region.
Birds can be kept indoors however they need the opportunity to exercise their wings. You may need to invest in an outdoor flight aviary or if it is safe, allow them to have some time out of the cage inside your house.
Ferrets aren’t for everyone as they can be a little smelly but they are great pets for kids who are a little bit older. They love to make warm nests from clothing and can often be found in your laundry basket, so if the washing is clean, keep it out of their reach! Ferrets are social creatures and enjoy being petted and love sitting on your lap for a scratch. Some will even sit inside your jacket or jumper for warmth and comfort.
Ferrets give Houdini a run for his money and are great escape artists. You will need to make sure their hutch is secured and when they are out of their little house, they can’t escape the house or yard.
What pet do you own? How did you decide what pet was right for your family?