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Your Child’s First Pet

April 26th is Kids And Pets Day! Has your child been asking for a pet? Our furry friends can actually be very beneficial to children. They can offer unconditional love and loyalty, and often love to be played with. They can also teach kids about empathy and friendship. Read on as a local Coon Rapids, MN vet discusses kids and pets.

Age

Every child matures differently, so there is no one set age where it’s right for all children to get their first pet. That said, we don’t generally recommend getting pets for children that are younger than five. Very young children can be unintentionally rough. Your youngster also may not yet understand that Fluffy’s tail isn’t a toy!

Personality

There are a few things to consider before deciding. Maturity is one. If your child has to be reminded over and over again to do their homework or chores, you may want to wait a bit longer. Another thing to keep in mind is that youngsters often move quickly from one favorite thing to another. It’s all too common for children to beg for pets, only to quickly lose interest in them. This, sadly, often results in sweet pets being rehomed. This is very traumatic and hard on our furry friends. Make sure that you are willing to step in and take over the pet’s care if your little one loses interest.

Choosing A Pet

While puppies, kittens, and bunnies often quickly capture the hearts of both children and adults, it may be better to start with something smaller. Hamsters, gerbils, and goldfish are all good beginner pets. They also don’t take up very much room!

Supervision

Supervise interactions between your child and their pet closely. If your little one’s animal friend is a pocket pet, have your child sit down to pet or play with them. That way, if your young one accidentally drops your furry friend, the little guy won’t fall very far.

Celebrating

If you have both a child and a pet, this is a great time to celebrate their friendship. Take some cute photos, or have your child make your furry buddy some homemade treats or toys. Look online for great options. Just be sure to choose only safe, suitable projects.

Please feel free to contact us, your local Coon Rapids, MN vet clinic, anytime. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

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