What is a good first pet for a child?

What's Covered

Pets are a therapeutic partner. To have a pet it is important to care for them and have a healthy bond in reoccurrence. Pets are faithful towards their owner`s affectionate behavior. It is an exciting and interactive thing for kids but can be a technical thing in terms of handling. A pet that is good for a child`s safety and social upbringing is should be in concern while choosing a good first pet for a child. Here, the parents need to be vigilant in rapports of how kids will cope along with this new member in the house.

Prepare your child for having the first pet

This is the first thing you need to do if you are going to buy the first pet for a child. As pets are like family members so before introducing a new member in your home let the child understand the do and don’ts in this regard. As being a child they may forget the boundary between rambunctious and gentle. Mainly a good first pet for your child is non-threatening and an easy-to-handle companion. By the end, the child will be able to have a responsible, social, considerate character in his/ her life.[1]

Understand kids age and talk to them

If the kids are a toddler, make sure the pet you choose doesn’t fear them in return. They should be excited to have it. Talk to them about pets let them see the pictures or videos analyze what engages them more and what attracts them more. The more the pet they adore the more they will love to have it. [2] Make sure the child loves the pet and it may have a positive impact on their lives. If your child is seeking a pet as a companion, make sure they can handle the pet maturely. Or in other cases, both child and pet can grow together if you buy them (pets) as babies. For example, as in the case of dog pets, you can buy them as a puppy (at least 1 or 2 years older) and get the glee of both growing together vice versa with cats too. If the child is so small, it is preferable to have small and less maintenance ace-based pets like guinea pigs. However, at the toddler stage child will love to have fluffy pets like cats and rabbits.

Let them own pets

Consider pets as your family member make space for them in houses or cars. The affections embraced by kids towards pets will make a bond and also let the child understand the compassionate and affection ties. Shop for the pets with the kids ask them to engage in the caretaking of their pets. This will create a sense of responsibility and an owning factor in the kids. They will learn kindness, empathy, and affections in this way. Choosing the accessories for the living place of pets will excite the kids more.[3]

Segarty Dog Bandanas
the little friend will be happy with these bandanas as they are super soft and can be used as a bib. The pet will look happy and beautiful at the same time.
Doggie World Dog Car Seat Cover - Waterproof
Pets admire the care given to them. To have less mess, this product is good as its waterproof, and the feeling of the pet being carried and own everywhere you go can be easily sensed from their cuddling.

Overcome their fears

If there is any fear in kids, talk to them, let them see the variety of pets. The fluffy ones, talking ones, friendly ones, the ones which can play with them. The main purpose of having a pet is to engage the kid towards empathy. [4] Let them watch the other pets. Or watch a movie or images of pets with them.

Friendly and cuddling first pets for a child


Dogs are ideal as they are not only caring for your kids but acts as a helping hand for you too in the days and nights of stress and anxiety. [5] If your child wakes up in the middle of the night dogs can rescue your sleep by tapping the kid. Though maintenance is required in terms of their activities and breeding matters. But yet they can be a good help. They are possessive of their owners and owner’s family and consider them responsible for their safety too. They are the best companions to have around. Initially, the child should be monitored when the dog pet is around. [6]


They are the most therapeutic adorable creatures. They just love to be cuddled and get affection. Kids love to play with cats, being soft, fluffy. Kids just get euphoric to have cats around but make sure they are fully vaccinated. [7] They are independent in terms of their excretions. You need to train them initially they will understand the fact of cleanliness and will do it in a proper way outside or in their potty tubs.

low maintenance good first pets for a child


Tortoise are the cutest and easy to maintain pet you can have. The only thing to be cognizant of is their feed. The feed has to be in calculated portions and variety should be given. It is better to keep them in an outdoor pen. The kids can enjoy the outdoor ambiance and playtime with this little pet.


Rabbits are the most prevalent boon pets. They love to be played and are active in socializing so kids will have fun playing and grooming them. They will love to be playing and cuddling these fluffy bunnies. They should be kept in pairs as engaging with people is in their nature.

Guinea pigs

These miniature creatures are the most innocent and communal ones as the first pet for your kids and above all, they don’t need high maintenance. They are extremely sociable better to be kept in pairs. They can live in a small place but playtime must be there as they are one of the community animals. Kids will like them as they are of tiny structure and playable.

low cost good first pets for a child


One can start from sparrows, pigeons, or small breeds of parrots. Talking parrots are the most attractive ones for kids as they can talk to them play with them hold them and enjoy them seeing flying around. Afterward, you can expand to bigger birds like a macaw or any other vibrant bird.


As prefatory pet fishes are the ideal choices. Fishes can be of low cost in the start if you are having a small aquarium and starting from economical species of fishes like goldfish. It can be costly though if you expand the aquarium and add vibrant species in fishes kittle community. Kids love to see them roaming in water sorting bubbles out. Reacting to their pats and voices. Though maintenance has to be done as they create lots of waste so it needs to be cleaned regularly.

Immunizations for pets

Immunizations are right for pets. You can have a check along with your child as a reminder. This will create a sense of handling things reliably. Keeping pets well-vaccinated will be good for the pet’s health and the health of other family members too.

Insecticides / pesticides

Many pets especially dogs and cats are of major concern in this matter. Pets need to be protected as being fluffy they are vulnerable to insecticides pesticides. [8] Such vulnerable pests/ insects will irritate the pet and can be a means of transfer to the children.

Breed Concerns for pets

Breeding is the basic necessity for pets as being a living creature. But should be kept in an account that breeding should be in favor of pets. Don’t overdo it, or ignore it for the sake of your convenience.  Breeding is done 2 ways as follows

Forced breed in vet’s clinics or hospitals

You took the pet to the vet and wait for hours for having your pet a breed session. This may be uncomfortable for the pet to have bred in an unknown place without engaging with the opposite sex.

Natural breed in homes

This is the best and easy-going way to have your pet at a comfortable level as they can have it on their terms. Give them time and space to indulge in the partner and have a smooth breeding session.

Playtime for pets and child

Playtime with pets is fun. Some pets who are very social might feel left unaccompanied if not caressed or played. To have a healthy pet adjust a playtime between your pet and kids. Both the child and pet will have fun engaging with each other.[9]

Traveling with pets 

Consider the pets as your responsibility and as a member of the house take them wherever you go. There are many tools and accessories to have a safe traveling with pets.  The pet will feel a sense of cherishing if you let them see the outer world and spend quality outdoor time with them.

Top Dog Travel Bag - Airline Approved Travel Set for Dogs Stores All Your Dog Accessories
While traveling with plenty of luggage it is not easy to handle the pet`s necessities, this bag has many pockets so one can have confined multipurpose storage for feed and treats of the pet.

Training of pets for a child

For potty

It will take a couple of weeks maximum and the pets will understand the rules of living in your house. The animals have a sense of cleanliness too if dealt with affection. You can use the specific time or bell rings or any voice mark (whistle) for them to remind them that it is the time for potty and show them the place where they should do the excretions. By some days they will follow the lead and will go to their potty place or tub on their own.

Comsmart Dog Training Bell
The perk of this product is not to install it just carry it where you travel and let yourself communicate with your pet. The kids can have fun with the pets and learn that even they are supposed to tell when so indirectly kids and pets both get trained.  Plus, is it’s a scratch-free rubber made bell.

Feeding pattern of pets

Some pets need to be monitored in terms of feed as overfeeding may cause them health issues. Be vigilant and involve a child in this so they indirectly get to know the importance of portions and feed patterns in their life too. The relevant feed is important for pets. Make sure the feed given via child is in a monitored way.

The ORIGINAL 'Did You Feed the Dog?
This thing will not only let us remember the feed`s time and train the pet for feeding pattern but will also engage the child in keeping a record of feedings as the operations for the device is based in simple color code without any battery thing we can keep a track record of pets feed.

For being friendly

Let them feel comfortable in your house. Once the pet feels at ease it will socialize with you and anyone who comes into your adjoining. This thing needs to be understood by the child too. If the child is having a bond with the pet. The pet will be giving positive vibes remember the good first pet for the child is that to whom the child feels connected.[10]

PetSafe - Pre-Portioned Automatic Food Dispenser
If you have more than one pet this is an ideal approach to keep a healthy bond among them and feed them in portions.

For following your instructions

A pet first needs to understand that you care for them, you are the one who is responsible for their needs. Involve the child in these matters so that the pet realizes that the child is the one who is his genuine friend. By the time the pet will follow the signs you gave them to act. Repeatedly use the signs for both pets and children to initiate and robust the bond between them.

Showers/ baths for pets are the sources of learning for a child

Cleaning pets is one of the pampering activities for the pet. The child involvement here is important as this is somehow entertaining for them and also highlighting the sense of responsible cleaning for the things child own. Cleaning is a kind of playtime with the pet. It will help the child to develop the cognitive, social, and emotional bands.[11]

Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool – Sprayer and Scrubber in One
Engage your kids and have fun bathing your pet with this scrubber fit bathing tool, you can groom your pet on your own using this inventive shower/ spray attached.

Outdoor water fun or showers are cheerful activities for the child. Let the child shower the pets on their own. They will relish the outdoor fun with their pets. The child will be less fussy and happier if left to do the phenomenal activities.

Kurgo Portable Outdoor Shower for Dogs, Pet Bathing Gear.
Being handy, travel friendly and flexible we can carry it outdoors to have an outdoor or camping fun with our pets. The plus point is can be fitted on any standard pet bottle.

Shaving for pets

This is the messiest thing to be dealt with if you are having fluffy pets around. You will find hair everywhere in your house and cleaning them is a real deal. It is better to shave them timely and also because of seasonal changes they need to be shaved opportune. Overdue hairs may lead to insecticides/pesticides attacks which may affect the hygiene and health of the pets. Deworming is recommended to keep the pets (especially the hairy ones) safe in this regard. The vets or specialized clinics offer services for deworming the pets.

Final thoughts:

Here are some products that might help you pamper your first pet for the child as these products can also engage your child in caressing pets.

Top Dog Travel Bag - Airline Approved Travel Set for Dogs Stores All Your Dog Accessories, , Comsmart Dog Training Bell, Aquapaw Pet Bathing Tool – Sprayer and Scrubber in One..

[1] Daly, Beth, and L. L. Morton. “Children with pets do not show higher empathy: A challenge to current views.” Anthrozoös 16.4 (2003): 298-314.

[2] Matchock, Robert L. “Pet ownership and physical health.” Current Opinion in Psychiatry 28.5 (2015): 386-392.

[3] Melson, Gail F., and Aubrey H. Fine. “Animals in the lives of children.” Handbook on animal-assisted therapy. Academic Press, 2015. 179-194.

[4] Kertes, Darlene A., et al. “Effect of pet dogs on children’s perceived stress and cortisol stress response.” Social Development 26.2 (2017): 382-401.

[5] Gadomski, Anne M., et al. “Pet dogs and child physical activity: the role of child–dog attachment.” Pediatric obesity 12.5 (2017): e37-e40.

[6] Hirschenhauser, Katharina, et al. “Children love their pets: do relationships between children and pets co-vary with taxonomic order, gender, and age?.” Anthrozoös 30.3 (2017): 441-456.

[7] Hart, Lynette A., et al. “Compatibility of cats with children in the family.” Frontiers in veterinary science 5 (2018): 278.

[8] Dodds, W. Jean. “Early Life Vaccination of Companion Animal Pets.” Vaccines 9.2 (2021): 92.

[9] Hawkins, Roxanne D., and Joanne M. Williams. “Childhood attachment to pets: Associations between pet attachment, attitudes to animals, compassion, and humane behaviour.” International journal of environmental research and public health 14.5 (2017): 490.

[10] Kidd, Aline H., and Robert M. Kidd. “Social and environmental influences on children’s attitudes toward pets.” Psychological Reports 67.3 (1990): 807-818.

[11] Endenburg, Nienke, and Hein A. van Lith. “The influence of animals on the development of children.” The Veterinary Journal 190.2 (2011): 208-214.

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Diana Lucas

Diana Lucas

Hi, Diana here. Welcome to my blog and hope you like my sharing. I am a mother of 2 boys, 3 years old and a 1 year old. I dedicate my career in child development research and I focus on parenting tips, positive parenting, educational toys for my babies. Your time here means a lot to me! Diana A. Lucas