When a family decides to add a dog or cat to the mix, everyone is naturally excited, especially the kids. After all, they will soon have a new friend with whom they can play, hang out, sleep, and have plenty of fun with day after day. However, before heading off to a nearby animal shelter or pet store, it’s always good to take a few things into consideration.
Choosing the Best Dog and Cat Breeds for Kids
For example, not only should you sit down with your kids and talk about the responsibilities associated with pet ownership, but also discuss what types of dog and cat breeds would be best for your family. This can include how big your pet may get, which can pertain to both dogs and cats. Do you want a big dog, such as a Retriever, or a small dog like a Beagle? And would you want a Maine Coon Cat, which might weigh 20 pounds or more? Also think about the animal’s personality, their daily needs, how much time you and your kids will have to spend with them, and other factors.
To give you a better idea of which dog or cat might be best for your kids, here are some of the most popular pets families often select.
Top Cat Breeds For Kids
With a lifespan of 10-16 years, a reputation for being friendly with kids, strangers, and dogs, and for being very intelligent and affectionate, Burmese cats are considered perhaps the perfect cats for kids.
If your kids have been taught to treat their pets with respect and love, the Burmese will reward them with its ability to learn a variety of tricks. In fact, these cats can easily be taught to fetch, much like a dog. So if you have a dog in the family as well, your kids will be able to have twice the amount of fun playing fetch with their furry family members.
If you have an older child who you think can handle a larger kitty, then a Maine Coon Cat may be the perfect choice.
Extremely kid-friendly, this gentle giant is long-haired, so it will require a little extra grooming on your part, though this can be turned into a fun chore with the kids.
Generally quiet cats that are not needy, Maine Coons prefer to stay on level ground rather than climb on furniture. Though not a lap cat per say, they love to be near their owners, and are often prone to very silly behavior.
Along with weighing 20 pounds or more, they have long lifespans, often living nearly 20 years. They’re just not cheap! Expect to pay $1000+.
Named for their folded-down ears, Scottish Folds are easygoing, smaller cats that are great with kids. In fact, these cats usually like to be around their people more so than around other animals, so it often works better in a single-pet family.
Known for its quirky behavior, such as sitting up like a dog or lying on its back with all four paws up in the air, the Scottish Fold will eagerly sit around the house during the day and wait for your kids to get home from school.
And be prepared, for when the kids walk through the door, these kitties will likely run around and around, requesting plenty of attention by using their chirpy voices.
Top Dog Breeds For Kids
Considered the most happy-go-lucky dog breed in the world, beagles make great companions for kids. Much like Charlie Brown loved his beagle Snoopy, it’s a sure thing your kids will love their beagle just as much if not more.
Weighing less than 20 pounds and standing only 15 inches high when fully-grown, beagles are loyal companions who will follow your kids around everywhere. And by living as long as 15 years, a beagle brought into the family at an early age will be your child’s companion for many years.
Very easy-going, they’re great dogs to run around with in the backyard, or take to a nearby park for a picnic and plenty of fun.
Billed as “America’s most popular dog breed,” the Labrador Retriever is as loyal a canine companion as your child will ever have in their life. However, since they can reach a height of 24 inches and weigh as much as 80 pounds, be prepared you and your kids are ready for the demands of a larger dog.
Since they are a larger breed, their lifespan is slightly shorter than smaller breeds, averaging 10-12 years. But while they are part of your family, they will be friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited. And also, be ready for lots of physical activity, since Labs love to run around and even swim.
If you want to get your kids a dog that will attract attention with its looks, consider an English Sheepdog. Affectionate and loving, these medium-sized dogs are very active, and require plenty of playtime as well as grooming.
Plus, since they’re said to possess personalities of a clown at times, they are sure to keep your kids entertained as well as active for many years.
By taking the time to carefully examine various aspects of your family, such as the amount of time you’ll be spending with your pet, how much room they will have to exercise, how big or small you want your pet to be, and how the pet’s personality will mesh with that of your child, you’re sure to make the right choice.
Whether you make an English Sheepdog, Maine Coon Cat, or other furry friend a member of your family, you and your kids will experience years of fun and happiness.
By Emily Parker, Catological.com