If you have kids, and are thinking of getting a pet, here are some suggestions. Tell us about your first pet and the happy memories you made with your addition to the family!
1. Guinea pigs
If you’re after cute and cuddly, it’s hard to go past guinea pigs as an ideal first pet for kids. Unlike some other animals on this list, they can be cuddled and handled more easily. They have minimal care requirements and a simple, vegetarian diet, and are even easier to handle than other small rodent animals, such as mice or rats. Remember to keep your kids’ guinea pig in a safe enclosure as they can be nervous animals that need a retreat. Petbarn has everything you need to bring home a guinea pig or other small animal.
Some of the most unique and unconventional pets available for families are turtles. They’re interesting pets that can teach children about more uncommon types of animals. Kids will find caring for turtles fun, though will probably need a bit of help from mum or dad, as they require more complex equipment and have specific dietary needs to be met. They can also live for a long time, and generally grow significantly over a lifetime. In most states, you must hold a license from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (e.g. in NSW) to keep a turtle, and in some states (e.g. WA) it is entirely banned. Check the licensing for your state before thinking about getting a turtle. Petbarn has a range of products just for pet turtles.
Fish are among the most popular pets for kids. These bright little animals are easy to care for, come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and are intriguing for kids to watch. While they do need regular care – namely feeding and changing of water – these activities are easy to do and can teach kids responsibility and care. Check out Petbarn’s fish supplies to ensure you have what you need.
4. Bearded dragon
Bearded dragons have a gentle nature and are great first pets for kids. The name comes from the rough spiny skin under their throats, which can look like a beard. Bearded dragons are desert animals, so require a warm, dry habitat, and eat a mixed diet of live insects (such as crickets or wood roaches, available in-store at Petbarn) and vegetables. They can be handled, but require some extra care to ensure handlers’ hands are clean before touching the reptile. Handlers’ hands should be thoroughly cleaned after petting, also. As with turtles, remember to check for licensing conditions in your state before welcoming a bearded dragon into your home. For a bearded dragon’s special requirements, Petbarn has you covered.
Budgies make great best mates. When tamed they are well tempered and easy to interact with, and enjoy spending one-on-one time with their parents. If kids are dedicated they can even teach budgies to talk! Birds do need some veterinary care and their cages need regular thorough clean-outs, so parents of kids with a budgie may need to lend a hand caring for pet birds. Petbarn loves birds! See bird products here.
For all the support and advice you need, visit your nearest Petbarn store before bringing home a new pet!