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What age do you think is best for a child to have their first pet?

StaceyJ

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This is something that is very debated in my family. I think the age of 8 is a good age. Some say 5 or even 4 is old enough. Others feel it is best to wait until a child is 13 or older. What are your thoughts on this?
 

Jacob

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I feel like anything younger than 6 is way too young. I believe it depends on the child though. Some kids are mature for their age at like 7 or 8 years old while others don't have enough responsibility to care for anything even at the age of 15.
 

Walkies

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I think 8 to 10 is a good area for most. It really depends on the kid and the pet though. I got my first pet when I was 5 and it was too young. I was not responsible enough to care for a gerbil. My second pet was a parakeet that I got when I was a little older, followed by a cat.
 

Petz

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I am not sure. I think it depends on the pet and the child. I think something like a puppy or kitten is fine for younger ages since you can give them some of the responsibilities such as feeding, scooping litter boxes, or taking them out to pee/poop without solely relying on the child to care for them all by themselves.
 

AJ

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I agree with Petz, it really depends on the type of pet you're talking about. Even really young children could have, say, pet fish. As long as you help them with anything that they're going to do, like feeding, then it'll be fine
 

lisaB

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Some children need more time than others. I feel like getting a child a pet with the expectation that you will be caring for it as well helps. You can't just assume even a 10-year-old will take proper care of an animal. They forget things!
 

Newbee

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It really depends on the pet and the child. Some children are very gentle and listen well when it comes to pet care while others get too excited and can easily hurt an animal. My parents got me a gerbil when I was only 5 years old. It ended up biting me and I threw it out of fear, I ended up killing it. I was too young for something like that!
 
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