Which pet should I choose?
You (and perhaps the rest of the family) have decided that there is time and space for an additional family member. However, it can be difficult to decide which animal fits best into your constellation. Most people want a cat or dog, which are also the most common pets in Denmark, but there is a great responsibility associated with these particular animals, and therefore it may be worth considering whether a rabbit, a guinea pig, a bird or a tortoise is a better choice in your case.
A pet is a long-term decision
Pets live for many years. Small dog breeds can easily live for 15-20 years, whereas the larger dog breeds live for 10-15 years. Cats about the same. Rodents typically live significantly shorter lives, whereas a turtle can live as old as a human.
Some have the attitude that they can just get rid of the animal again if at some point they don't want to have it. Therefore, every year, many dogs and cats end up in boarding facilities or are left behind. Dogs and cats are a lot like people in that respect; they bond with their family and being left behind or moving home is a huge stressor for them. Therefore, getting a pet should never be a short-term decision. You should carefully consider whether you have the time and desire, as well as the opportunity, to offer the chosen pet a good and permanent home.
The situation is different with e.g. fish, reptiles, rodents and birds that do not possess the same ability to attach. A move will typically also be a stress factor during the transport part itself, but if they are transported in their accustomed cage or terrarium, it will rarely have a further impact on their standard of living. This is not to say that you can simply acquire a guinea pig or a turtle and get rid of it again soon after, but it is far more prudent to acquire this type of animal when the family first has to have a pet and deal with it responsibility, that is, having an animal in the household.
Good pets for children
Although dogs and cats are generally very child-friendly, they are also a big responsibility that a child should never be left with alone. In general, children should not have full responsibility for a pet. It is always the parents' responsibility to ensure that the animal's needs are met in the end. However, it will be much easier for a child to deal with feeding a fish in the aquarium twice a day than for the child to come home directly after school every day to walk a dog.
Choose a pet that the whole family agrees on and for which you, as the parent, can agree to have ultimate responsibility. If it is the first time you are getting a pet, you can advantageously choose a fish, a bird, a reptile or a rodent, which does not require as much care as a dog or a cat. Then you can also see whether the interest in being a pet owner continues - both for parents and children.
Pet suggestions for children:
- Aquarium fish
- Budgerigar or canary
- Guinea pig