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What’s The Best First Pet for Kids?

 The Best Pet For KidsWe already have a cat at home, but lately, I’ve been wondering if I should get another pet too. Not another cat or dog, but something smaller that my kids could be fully responsible for taking care of and managing all the pet’s needs.

When I was a young girl, I had a hamster that was totally my responsibility. I made sure he had water, food, clean bed, toys to play with, and he hung out in my room. I loved him dearly and believe that — even though we had a dog and a cat — the hamster that was fully my responsibility taught me a whole lot.

I’ve been wondering if the same thing would be good for my kids. They do have some responsibilities when it come to our cat Ariel, but over all, she’s such a “Daddy’s girl” that my husband typically takes care of the food, water, litter box, and brushing her fur. My kids were a little too young when my older cats were still with us, so really they don’t have too much to do with the pets when it comes to care.

I have been thinking about getting them their own pet — a hamster or fish or something a little more fun like turtle or lizard. I am not sure what animal is best to start kids off for taking responsibility and pet ownership that won’t leave the bulk of the work left to me.

I don’t think a fish would be too much fun for the kids because, really, what can you do with a fish expect stare at it. But then I wonder if that’s kind of a good thing since all you need to do is clean the tank once in a while and make sure they’re fed. A dog or bird would be too much noise, a hamster could be fun, but would that be mean because we have a mouse-loving cat?

:: What do you think the best pet would be that kids could take full responsibility for? ::

Photo credit: istockphoto

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