What the Best Family Friendly Pets?

Adding a pet to your family is a big decision, which should be weighed carefully by each member. Not only do you want a fun pet for you and your kids, but you should also know that some types are more appropriate for certain ages. Although a child's age is one of the determining factors in choosing a family pet, there are other more important issues to consider as well, like choosing pets acceptable for child allergies. When choosing the best family pet, you will need to get one that is the most appropriate for the time you can dedicate to its care, as well as what you can actually afford. Considering these few points will help to decrease the chances of taking on a pet that you and your family cannot handle.

Time Commitment and Maintenance

The amount of time and care your family needs to allocate towards a pet varies, which is one of the many reasons why there is no one perfect type of family pet. One of the first things to consider is the amount of time in which each family member can commit to your pet. Dogs are considered to be extremely kid-friendly, but they also require a great deal of time and maintenance. For this reason, dogs tend to be best suited for families with older children who can help out parents with the care of the pet.

If you prefer furry animals but do not require as much time, cats are the next best family choice to dogs because these pets are more independent. Cats can also be just as friendly with children as dogs are, but you will have to ensure that your kids properly handle the pets in order to avoid getting scratches. Birds are another pet choice that do not require as much time and maintenance as dogs. Reptiles and rodents, such as hamsters, require the least amount of time commitment, and they tend to be ideal for smaller children.

Your Budget

Another big factor in determining the best family pet is the amount of money that you can reasonably allocate towards the care of your new addition. The most expensive pets are horses and dogs, with the latter being one of the most common types of pets in the United States. Before taking on an expensive pet, you should know that the associated costs are often equivalent to that of having another child. Aside from food and medications, you will need toys, as well as money allocated to veterinarian visits and sitting services. If you cannot adequately afford to have a dog, then you should pass on adding this type of furry friend to your family until you have a larger budget to accommodate this type of pet.

Cats are next in terms of overall costs. Their food is generally not as expensive because they are smaller animals. However, this does not mean that a cat is an inexpensive family pet. You still need to provide the proper medications when needed, and you will need to take him or her to the vet's office for regular preventive care visits.

If you are on a tight budget, but your family still wants a pet, there are still a variety of choices that you can consider. Reptiles, such as snakes and tortoises, are fairly inexpensive to purchase compared to dogs and cats. Plus, the amount of money spent on food for these types of pets is significantly less compared to other types of animals. Fish, birds and rodents are also not as expensive to care for in terms of food and preventive care.

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