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Which pet should I choose for my child?

The criteria to take into account when choosing your pet

“There are several criteria to take into account before choosing the right animal to adopt. The environment in which we live, in a house with a garden/outside or apartment, the time we can dedicate daily to the animal, knowing that a dog ideally requires one hour of daily outing), the question of the budget (for food but also for veterinary expenses) as well as the age of the children. Some dog breeds are much more cuddly and playful than others, which is ideal for young children” (more than so-called working dogs, for example, who will be less emotional), explains Hélène Favreau, external communication manager for PURINA France. head that it is better to take a cat when you live in an apartment, this is not entirely true. “There are a lot of animals who are a bit homelike and used to living in an apartment. Of course, a dog needs to go outside but is not active 100% of the time. He sleeps, eats, he can have a pretty cool pace of life, compatible with living in an apartment. In any case, you must be able to dedicate moments of play, love and tenderness to your animal, this is part of a responsible adoption“. There are also emotional criteria, some people are more cats, others more dogs, others love rodents… It all depends on what the children, and the family in general, want.

Numerous studies have also demonstrated the benefits of a pet for a child. If you want to instill the notion of responsibility, for example, in a child, then it is better to take a dog. Toddlers, who are rather calm and very cuddly by nature, will make perfect love with a cat (also affectionate), a rabbit or a guinea pig, which are very sociable animals that soothe children.

Should you choose a baby or an adult animal?

“Regarding the age of the adopted animal, some families will prefer to choose a baby, like a puppy or a kitten, to get it used to each member right away, for its education. But this is not not at all an obligation, everything is possible including with adult animals. Volunteers in shelters and associations can fully advise you on the animal, dog or cat, which is most likely to match with your family”, adds Hélène Favreau.

Which pet to choose according to the age of your child?

About 5 years old is the ideal age to start taking good care of an animal.. Before this age, toddlers can of course grow up with an animal but will always have to take care of it under the watchful eye of their parents. Fish (which do not necessarily require maintenance) or small animals are more appropriate in this case. From 5 years old, the choices can be more focused on dogs, cats, rodents such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, etc. For hamsters, which are more fragile animals, it is better to wait until the child is around ten years old. The life expectancy of the animal received is also to be taken into account. With young children, who are not yet familiar with the concept of death, taking a mouse that lives about 2 years is not the best solution.

Tips and a tool to choose the right animal

And if you offered your neighbor to keep her dog, her cat, her rabbit, vacation time or even a weekend? This will allow you to know what type of animal your children are most comfortable with and to get an idea of ​​their attitude towards it. If the choice of the family fell on a dog, it is still necessary to choose the most suitable breed. PURINA has also set up a “selector” to choose the breed that best corresponds to what you are looking for. Size of the dog, past experiences with dogs, allergies in the family or not, length of time to devote to it, presence of other animals in the household, dog that gets along particularly well with children (Of course!), etc. ,etc. After meeting all the criteria, the breeds that best suit your preferences and lifestyle will be displayed.

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