10 Great First Pets

10 great first pets

Kids are always clamoring for a pet, without understanding how much work comes along with the adoption. Before you say no to vet bills, food, grooming, clean-up and all the additional responsibility of a pet, here’s a list from www.howstuffworks.com of non-traditional pets that could be a great first start in teaching your children those important life lessons – like the fact that living things need to eat everyday!

Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are low-maintenance pets who require only a misting of water to keep them fresh (along with the daily dose of food and water that all pets require). They can live in a simple tank with gravel, and aren’t prone to escaping to dark corners of the house.

Small Lizard

Small lizards, such as geckos or bearded dragons, are docile and small. Avoid iguanas and monitor lizards who start out small and cute but grow into very large creatures.

Small Birds

Canaries and finches can keep themselves and your kids entertained, but they require regular cage cleaning and are better for older children.

Gerbil, Hamster or Mouse

These classic pets are cute and good tempered, but beware – they can easily escape their confines hide for hours or days.

Betta Fish

Goldfish are fragile and actually require a fairly elaborate set-up. Betta are beautiful fish that like smaller bowls and can last for two or three years.

Some other non-traditional pets to consider are older cats and dogs (much less energy than a puppy or kitten), ants (wait to you see the latest ant farm set-ups), guinea pigs (a little bigger than hampsters but they prefer to live in groups) and snakes (really – they’re low maintenance but do require live rodents for food). The article also suggests rats as pets, since they’er intelligent, affectionate and social, but we just can’t imagine bringing a rat into the house. I’ll stick with the fish, thanks.