When one says pets the first 2 names that pop into our minds is Dog and Cat. But not all are ready to take up the responsibility a pet brings along. There are many factors to consider before finalizing the newest member of your family. Like the financial commitment, the time commitment, availability of space, you or your child’s level of activity, the food, etc.
Here is a list of Top 5 pets I feel are best for first-time pet owners and kids.
Fish are one the best pets for first-time pet owners and kids. Their lifespan is usually 5 years to 40 years depending on the breed, care taken and the environment provided. Fish are low maintenance in comparison to a dog. They don’t need grooming, they don’t need to walk outdoors or any kind of vaccinations. But there are things like temperature control and weekly cleaning that is involved with fish. You also need to dechlorinate the water if you use tap water.
So before finalizing a fish please do your research well on basics like –
How many gallons of water does a single fish need?
What should be the size of tank for the number of fish you need?
What will the fish eat?
Is it safe to keep the same breed in one tank?
Is it safe to keep other breeds in the tank?
How many times do you need to clean the tank?
Will you be using a UV light, a filter or a plant in the aquarium?
Does your fish need a hiding spot?
How will you handle the breeding phase?
What will you do if the fish lays eggs in case you have a male and a female fish?
How will you take care of the babies?
Who will take care of your fishes if you travel a lot?
Note – Never ever keep a fish in a fishbowl this is a torture for them. Instead, don’t bring them home if you cannot provide it with the environment it needs to survive.
My picks for pet fish – Goldfish in a pair or more because they have a long lifespan, they can survive without any additional devices like temperature control and they are very social beings meaning you can add more goldfishes in an aquarium.
What shown above is a Red Eared Slider Terrapin which is completely legal to keep as a pet in India. This is the most common type of Terrapin available in India. They are Semiaquatic beings which means they need land and water both to survive. They are the best pets to have, low on maintenance and with the longest lifespan like their sibling species the tortoise or turtles. Before bringing a Turtle/Tortoise or Terrapin home make sure you research on the fact that the particular species is legal to keep as a pet at home.
Things to consider before bringing a Terrapin/Turtle at home –
What will you feed them?
Are you capable of expanding their aquarium with time?
Their tank needs to be cleaned every single day if you feed them pallets, or else the water turns green and stinks. Are you ready for this?
Are you a vegetarian? How will you feed your terrapin/turtle other beings? They are carnivores and they need a good amount of fish/and other beings to survive.
Bringing home a turtle/tortoise or terrapins is a lifelong commitment. Is your family ready for this?
Note – Most, if not all, reptiles carry Salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tract and may shed these bacteria in their faeces. Salmonella bacteria usually do not cause any illness in reptiles, but can cause serious illness in people. It is advisable to sanitize your hands or any place where a reptile poops.
Did you know Rabbits are a lot like dogs in terms of intelligence and sometimes like cats when they are upset?
Rabbits need a lot of play and activities to keep them happy. A bored rabbit will find it’s way to your books or furniture. Before bringing home a rabbit make sure you decide whether you want it to be cage-free or in a cage. Rabbits are herbivores and they need a diverse diet. While in the west, rabbits are asked to be fed 80% Hay, 15% Veggies and 5% Fruits. In India, I have failed to find the recommended type of Hay. So we feed our rabbits a lot of Grass, Cauliflower leaves, greens, carrots, fruits and sometimes treats.
Rabbits can be litter trained and can understand a few words like their name, No, Yes, Sit down, etc just like dogs. Rabbits are very smart animals and if you want an animal to cuddle they are the best after dogs. They do need some vaccines and they also need to be spayed to keep them happy and healthy. They have a lifespan of up to 15 years depending on the care taken.
Kindly research well before bringing home your furry pals!
They are the most kid-friendly pets I have ever seen. They rarely fight, they are highly social and love to be picked up. Guinea pigs are low maintenance animals and can be caged or cage-free. Their lifespan is around 8-10 years and they love their humans even if they are in pairs. Usually, it is recommended to keep together a pair of females as they stay in total harmony and your kids will love to be around them.
Guinea Pigs are few of the beings like humans who can’t produce their own Vitamin C and they need Vitamin C supplements to survive.
These are one of the easiest to maintain. A snail can stay alone in a bowl or with companions. You can also add snails to a fish aquarium. Snails feed on fish leftovers and algae so basically they clean the tanks. Snails love greenery around them and it is advisable to keep live aquatic plants in the bowl or tank.
Snails can slide out of a tank or bowl so it is recommended to keep a cover over it. Snails should be fed twice a day or twice a week depending on the type of snail. The apple snail which is commonly found in Indian stores lives up to 10 years. Things to consider before bringing home a snail is about the size of the tank and who will take care of your snail when you are out of town.
We have had all the animals on the list as pets except Guinea pigs. It has become a ritual for Christmas to bring home 2 new family members. Next on the list is Guinea Pigs.
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