It’s an unavoidable subject when your child decides they want a pet of their very own. If your family (especially a child) are new to caring for animals, here is a list of the pets you should definitely not allow in your house.
A parakeet. While these birds are cheap and certainly beautiful, one draft and the bird’s a goner. Parakeets are not stable pets to have if you have no experience with birds, and are also somewhat hard to tame if you get one that wasn’t hand fed. More often than not, if you don’t lose the bird to a cold draft (they get pneumonia from it and die within days), you’ll end up with a screeching pest that poops everywhere and throws seeds out of its cage and bites or cowers from everybody. If you’re going to get a “starter” bird, a cockatiel is an excellent choice for kids and the family. They’re smart, personable and easy to train and tame.
A goldfish. Well, this is both the perfect starter pet, and the worst. Goldfish don’t live long (like 2 weeks if you’re not caring for it properly), but they’re cheap and teach your child how to care for and clean up after a new pet. If you’re willing to face the crying of the fish going belly-up quickly, get a goldfish. If not, go for a Beta instead. They live longer and are fairly cheap, and easier to care for.
A lizard, snake, turtle or frog. They stink if you don’t care for them, and they have odd needs like needing to eat grubs, rodents, or other gross foods that might put your child off. Besides, you often need heating lamps, and lizards and frogs can escape. Iguanas bite and slash with their tails. Not to mention you have to wash your hands after handling them constantly. Unless your family is experienced with reptiles, forgo these as first-time pets.
A tarantula. While they look cool, they live forever, often 15 years or so. Plus, they may creep your kids out, and even a fairly handled tarantula can freak your kids out and bite them. Plus, if you get stuck caring for it, you may be too scared to go near the critter. They’re not too cheap anyhow, and you have to feed them live bugs. If your child is not afraid of them, then they can be a possibility, but a tarantula will be in your house for a long time and will likely end up ignored sooner or later once the new wears off.
A rat, guinea pig, or hamster. Once again, another cheap pet a lot of people get, but they’re messy and they tend to stink if they are ignored. Plus, unless you play with them often, they bite, and it HURTS. A better bet is a rabbit that can be left in a secured enclosure outdoors, so your child has a pet they can learn to care for, and bring indoors to play with.
Your best bet when your child wants a pet is to get a pet the whole family can enjoy being around, like a cat or a dog. Something classic that will bond with your family that everyone can take part in. Rather than getting your kids a pet that has to be enclosed in a bedroom, why not get a pet that everyone can interact with and make part of the family? Everyone knows the basics of a dog or cat, and as a family decision these animals can be readily welcomed in your home. You could also get a ferret, but be prepared to have the bugger dig around in your house and get lost in things like the dryer vent and such. They’re crafty and hard to care for, so get a cat or dog instead and everyone will be a lot happier with your new pet.