What’s the best first pet for a child?

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that my little only child will get lonely growing up without any siblings. Not quite guilty enough to have another baby, but just enough to consider getting her a pet of her very own.

The problem is that I’m not really a big animal person. I like animals just don’t really like the idea of one in my house, so we’re not doing very well on deciding what animal to go for.

What's the best first pet for a child? | www.digitalmotherhood.com


My husband wants a dog but that is definitely not happening. Dogs scare me and they are far too much of a tie for a busy family who are all at work and school all day, and who like their sunny holidays abroad.


We’ve toyed with the idea of a cat, but I don’t want a catflap on my front door (yes slightly OCD I know) and no one is around all day to let a kitty in and out of the house so we have abandoned that idea for now. Maybe a nice idea if I ever manage to go freelance and work from home.


Hamsters are cute and pretty low maintenance, but I’m not sure where I would want to put a smelly cage in the house….yep, definitely sounding a bit OCD…


I suggested a fish or two, surely the most low maintenance of all pets, but Little H said fish were ‘boring’. So that put an end to that idea.


We’re now thinking that maybe we will buy a rabbit in the spring. They’re cute, cuddly and best of all they live outside! My only concern is…do I have to bring it inside in the winter?!

Whatever we get it’s got to be fairly small, so I loved this infographic from Petco when I saw it.

What is the best first pet for a child?

What's the best first pet for a child? | www.digitalmotherhood.com

We probably won’t be going for a lizard or hermit crab, but hadn’t thought of guinea pigs.

What animal would my fellow mummies recommend for a 4.5 year old’s first pet? Would love to hear what animals other families have chosen.


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


13 thoughts on “What’s the best first pet for a child?

  1. Sam Bourne (@luckytwinmumsam) says:

    I am going to follow this post as really interested to know the answer. Alfie wants a pet for his 5th birthday in March. I considered Guinea pigs but someone said the squeaking drove them mad! We are now looking into rabbits with a potential to train as a house rabbit. Great post 🙂

  2. Life as Mum says:

    This was really interesting to read although I don’t want pets at the moment, would be great in few years to come!
    Thank you so much for linking up to #justanotherlinky

  3. Leanne Cornelius says:

    We have cats and our eleven month loves them, I’m so excited for her to grow up with them!
    My sister has just got fish, her 6 year old loves them but her 3 year old isn’t really bothered by them, maybe fish will be more entertaining in a few years?
    A rabbit is always a good option, I have no idea how high/low maintenance they are as I’ve never had them, but they’re cute and fluffy 🙂


  4. lisagraham1 says:

    I like the idea of rabbits or fish. What about an indoor cat and then you don’t have to worry about a cat flap? I’m sure little H will like whatever you choose xx

  5. Kerry norris says:

    We’ve got a dog but that’s cause we’ve always had them when I was growing up. We also have fish and a rabbit. Of all of them I’d say the rabbit gives me the most grief. So messy and it stinks lol x

  6. steph_baybee says:

    We have just lost our guinea pigs but they were so cute, and lovely to handle for kids. They were such happy little things. However they poo soooo much! I imagine rabbits would too. I hated cleaning them out in the rain and cold during the winter. We couldn’t keep them indoors as my daughters were allergic to them. I loved my hamster when I was a little girl, it went everywhere with me, they are so quick to clean out, you could clean them out often easily as their cage is small.

  7. lambandbear says:

    We have a beautiful ragdoll cat. She’s so fluffy and beautiful. Personally I think cats are easier than hamster as you don’t have a cage to clean! I’m lazy and don’t want the extra task! Ha!

Comments are closed.