“Mom can we please have a pet?” We bet your child has said this to you at least once. Children have a very high level of fascination with animals, and relate to them very strongly, be it wild animals in picture books or prints on their outfits, or domesticated animals in homes or farms, featuring in nursery rhymes and children’s videos.
Pets can be a great addition to a family, especially one with growing children. In this article, let us understand how having pets at home can be greatly beneficial for your child and teach them a few more facts about pets. When talking about choosing a pet, do you only think about dogs or cats? Think again. There are several more animals that make for great pets suitable to all kinds of families. Let us learn some pet animals names and interesting facts about pets for your child.
What are Pet Animals?
Pets are animals that are domesticated and kept at home as part of the family. Many animals are bred among humans for various purposes like their use in hunting and transportation or are reared as cattle or livestock for their commercial value. However, pet animals are brought home with the primary purpose of companionship or entertainment.
People who pet animals regard them as their own little baby when they are newly brought it, and treat them as an important member of their family. They take the responsibility to keep them well-nourished, care for their health and well-being, share duties like taking them out for walks, grooming them, playing with them and feeding them on time.
Why Pets Are Good for Kids?
Having a pet at home should be a carefully thought out decision, as it is not easy to maintain a pet. However, there are numerous benefits to having a pet animal at home, especially for kids. Let us look at these benefits.
1. Protection from Allergies and Infections
Children who grow up with pets are likely to have a stronger immune system and less likely to develop childhood allergies and asthma. Children with pets at home have an antibody in the immune system that helps fight off infection. These children are able to fend off infection such as colds and flu better than those children without pets, thus having less days off school.
2. Learning To Take Responsibility
Tasks such as taking the dog for walks or cleaning up the hair they shed teaches children to be responsible, and gives them a sense of achievement. Looking after a pet also helps children to develop empathy for others.
3. Calming and Therapeutic Effect
Pets are known to be comforting companions. Since generations, dogs have been used to aid in children’s development. Even shy students can benefit from a pet’s company by trying out exercises like reciting the answers of a question to their pet or trying to perform something before the pet. Problems like exam stress or nervousness can also be calmed down in the company of a loving animal.
4. Provides Comfort and Companionship
Pets offer comfort and companionship to kids. No matter what mood they are in, children find support and security from their animal companion, which often means they are less anxious or withdrawn.
5. Improves Family Bond
Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these important but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.
6. Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
From walking the dog to playing with the family rabbit in the garden, having a pet helps lead a healthy lifestyle for their young owners, encouraging them to be outside and running around.
7. Lowers blood pressure
Studies have revealed that stroking animals can lower blood pressure and in turn decrease anxiety. This is beneficial even in kids, when it comes to tackling any amount of stress, tension or anxiety related to homework and exams, or any other walk of life.
8. Reduces loneliness
Having a pet can help ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation, and keep depression away. These health benefits are even true for birds.
9. Teaches The Circle Of Life
Although most parents want to protect their children from the bitter realities of the world, having a pet allows kids to understand and learn about the cycle of life. Dealing with the death of a pet can actually help them cope with other challenging life events.
10. They’re Fun!
Most importantly having a pet is fun. Whether it is a dog, cat, bird or a unique and exotic pet, having an animal at home brings joy to any household.
List of Common Pet Animals For Kids
Let us take a look at these pictures of pet animals and learn about the various types of pets one can have.
Dogs were the first species to be domesticated by hunter-gatherers over 15,000 years ago before the development of agriculture. They are one of the most popular pets, and a special favourite among kids.
Belonging to the feline family, cats are becoming very popular pets. They are easier to maintain as they are not dependent as dogs. Various species of cats are domesticated by people around the world.
Therapeutic to watch as they swim around in their tank, goldfish are very common in households as well as commercial places like restaurants and hotels.
Usually pests that one may want to get rid of, many people choose to keeps ferrets as house pets. When kept in controlled litters, they can be great pets as they are very active and love playing around. They should be kept with a littermate of the same sex.
Hamsters are fun animals and can make for very good pets, especially of they are your child’s first pets. However, you must have good understanding of what they need to live a healthy and happy life.
Most species of parrot can make excellent companions, but must be carefully managed around other common pet species like dogs and cats as they might be hostile towards them. Parrots make for a great pet as they interact abundantly with their human companions.
A domestic or domesticated rabbit —more commonly known as a pet rabbit, bunny, bun, or bunny rabbit—is a subspecies of European rabbit, a member of the lagomorph family. A male rabbit is known as a buck, a female is a doe, and a young rabbit is a kit, or kitten
Turtles need a lot of special care and plenty of room to grow. Turtles can live for many years, and they continue to grow during their lifetime.
Different Types Of Pet Animals
There are several different animals that you can have as pets. They can be categorised into the following:
Despite some people not considering them real pets, fish are actually a very popular pet in many households! They are relatively easier to care for as their movement remains limited to the tank or aquarium. Here are some of the most popular types of pet fish:
- Neon Tetras
- Zebra Danios
Reptile pets are mostly scaly or hard or both. This doesn’t make them any less common as pets! This category includes snakes, lizards, and turtles. Check out this pet animals chart for the most commonly domesticated reptiles.
- Bearded Dragons
- Common Leopard Geckos
- Corn Snakes
- Ball Pythons
- Crested Geckos
- Blue-Tongued Skinks
- Monitor Lizards
- Green Iguanas
- Red-Eared Sliders
- Argentine Black and White Tegu
- Chinese Water Dragon
- Green Anole
Amphibians are those animals that can live on both land or water. They usually need a little bit of both the habitats for their survival. Their skin is usually very sensitive, so one needs to be more cautious while picking them up or handling them even slightly. These amphibians are the most common in the home pets list.
- Tree Frog
- Tiger Salamander
- Pacman Frog
- Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad
- Dart Frog (Note: these are poisonous)
- Amazon Milk Frog
Birds can be great pets. They have feathers, which are usually softer than they look. So stroking them and petting them feels quite therapeutic. Most birds sing beautifully, so you can be sure of melodious tunes at home constantly. Some birds can even talk! What an entertaining pet that would be! Here are some of the most popular types of pet bird.
Mammals make for the most popular, well-known and commonly seen small pets. They are usually fuzzy and pretty social, which makes them very popular pets. They can move around and be active like humans, which makes them very relatable animals. Their body processes are also similar to humans, making them a big easier to care for. Here are a few popular mammals kept as pets
- Guinea Pigs
- Maine Coons
- American Shorthairs
- British Shorthairs
- Siamese Cats
- Sphynx Cats
- Scottish Folds
- Russian Blues
- Devon Rexes
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- French Bulldogs
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Australian Shepherds
Interesting Facts About Pet Animals For Kids
- A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times better than ours!
- Cats spend 70% of their life sleeping.
- When rabbits are happy they jump around and flick their head and feet!
- Hamsters are banned in Hawaii.
- Guinea pigs make 11 individual sounds!
- Some lizards detach their tails when in danger.
- Tortoises can live over 100 years!
- Goldfish don’t have a three second memory.
How that your child has learnt about several types of pets, they will definitely want to get one at home! But always remember, that you must make this decision very consciously as you are about to take responsibility of a living being. Before choosing a pet, make sure you know about restricted species that are banned from being domesticated for preserving the endangered species.
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