Rainbow fish was one of my starter pets when I was 5 years old. I can still remember so vividly how my siblings and I were so excited to bring 5 to 6 rainbow fishes home in a transparent plastic bag. We would then put them into a small aquarium and watch the fishes swim happily in their new home. We were once too excited to put in too much fish food in the aquarium. And we learnt our lesson when we saw the fish floating upside down in the aquarium. We tried to have new batches of rainbow fish from time to time and it was indeed one of the best moments in my childhood. Here's why I personally think that owning a pet truly benefits us. Besides the contentment and calmness from watching the fish in the aquarium, I also learnt about the responsibility to take care of my pet. While I find fish to be very entertaining, some children might find other pets to be more exciting and interactive. So, if both you and your children are ready to welcome a pet as a new family member, you really need to consider your children's personality traits first. Are your children active, intelligent, quiet or playful? This is because both your children and the animal pet will get along very well if their character matches with the similar trait of the starter pets that you are getting. You can also take these factors into consideration before picking the best starter pets for your loved ones. \tlife span of the pet \tspace required \tcare requirements and needs \tdesired interaction between your children and the pet Here are the best 5 starter pets that will fill your home with more excitement and new experiences. Best 5 Starter Pets for Families Starter Pet 1: Fish Betta fish can be one of the species that you can consider as a starter pet (Image credit: Canva) For children who prefer observing their pets over patting or touching them, a fish can be one of the ideal pets to start with. If you are considering to go for the typical goldfish, here are some facts that you need to be aware of. Goldfish usually require a larger space to keep as they can grow to enormous sizes. Not only are they fragile, but goldfish also produces a lot of waste and therefore regular cleaning is needed. As an alternative, we would suggest you to keep fish such as Betta fish, Zebrafish or Angelfish. Living in small aquariums, these fish can fit just about anywhere in your house and do not need much attention. You can start with decorating the aquarium of the fish bowl with gravel, plants and other attractive accessories. On top of this, you only need to feed two small feeds a day. For instance, you only feed the Betta fish once in the morning and once at night. Even your toddler can help with the feedings. Simply measure out the food and get your little ones to drop it into the aquarium. However, you will need to ask for some professional advice on creating the right water requirements and temperature for the needs of the fish. \tLifespan of pet fish: Up to 2 to 3 years. \tSpace required: Small aquariums with at least two gallons of water. \tCare requirements and needs: Feeding and regular cleaning of the aquarium with adjustment of water temperature and ph value. \tDesired interaction between your children and the pet: Observing; no hands-on patting or touching. Starter Pet 2: Birds Your children can have fun with this chatty starter pet (Image credit: Canva). If you are looking for some starter pets that your children can interact with low maintenance, you can start with birds. One of the top friendly pet birds is the parakeets. Parakeets are small to medium-sized species of parrots which are very affectionate. They would not be annoyed with the regular, gentle handling from your children. With proper training, a parakeet can even learn to utter words. Your children can engage with their pet bird actively. As parakeets are quite active and playful, you should get a large cage with spacious room for toys, sleeping, eating and flight. A horizontal cage bar is great for climbing and exercise, too. Besides, you should be aware that these parakeets need some playtime outside the cage. As flight is very important and natural for a bird, you can allow your parakeets to fly in a secure and safe area. Feed your parakeets with seeds, pellets, fruits and vegetables. You should clean the cage daily with your children's help. They can learn to wash and fill up the food and water dishes while feeding the parakeets some vegetables as a treat. If parakeets are taken good care of, they can live up to 15 years. Since it would be a long-term commitment, it is advisable that you discuss with your children whether they are up to being responsible for such a long term. \tLifespan of the pet: Up to 15 years. \tSpace required: 20 inch x 12 inch x 18 inch. \tCare requirements and needs: Feeding, daily cage cleaning, bonding time with free flight time. \tDesired interaction between your children and the pet: Direct and gentle handling. Starter Pet 3: Cats An adorable cat can be a good choice for your children's starter pet. (Image credit: Canva) Who doesn't fall for these fluffy little critters? As opposed to dogs, cats are playful animals that need lesser maintenance. (You don't really need to walk or bath your cats as frequently as dogs). Nevertheless, they can interact quite well with small children though they would not keep up for a few hours of playtime. It can be a good choice for your children who don't mind having companionship only when their pet is in the mood. A pet cat also needs some space and personal time to wander around, hide and climb throughout the day. So, you may not feel as guilty if you are swamped with your work. They will have their fun time on their own. A pet cat can be one of the best starter pets if you are concerned with hygiene. Cats are very clean in nature, and one of their instincts is to bury their pee and poop. What you need is just to prepare a litter box. Simply groom your cat with a brush every once in a while and\u00a0clip its nails when needed. \tLifespan of the pet: Up to 15 years. \tSpace required: Minimal space for cat bed and more space for movement. \tCare requirements and needs: Daily feeding of once or twice and minimal cleaning. \tDesired interaction between your children and the pet: Allow gentle handling with limited playtime when the pet is in the mood. If you are still uncertain of whether it's appropriate to keep pets at home, we have interesting stories of families sharing their joy of having pets. Starter Pet 4: Guinea Pigs or Hamsters You can consider the rodent family if your children is interested in getting a pet (Image credit: Canva). If you are uncertain whether your children are ready for a cat or a dog, you can then consider a guinea pig or a hamster. Not only are they smaller, they are also independent inside the cages with some toys. Both hamsters and guinea pigs thrive in a small living space, and they are easily taken care of. What they need is just a clean and comfy cage, with a wheel for exercise. Mind that these hamsters and guinea pigs are expert in escaping. They can easily squeeze through very small holes and run quickly. So, you really need to be alert or else they will disappear out of your eyesight. As compared to hamsters, guinea pigs are gentler and thus less likely to bite. They enjoy being around humans and will actively engage and interact with you. They are willing to sit calmly in a child\u2019s lap and vocalise their excitement when you are around. They will not get annoyed with any cuddling from your children, too. They even love to play hide-and-seek. However, they have larger appetite than hamsters and therefore they are messier. So you might have to clean cage more frequently as well. As guinea pigs and hamsters tend to live 4 to 8 years, it is suitable for children who can be accountable for a moderate commitment. \tLifespan of the pet: 4-8 years. \tSpace required: A cage for playing and sleeping. \tCare requirements and needs: Daily feeding and cleaning of cage. \tDesired interaction between your children and the pet: Loves to be around with humans. Starter Pet 5: Hedgehogs Though a hedgehog might not as cuddly as other pets, it is active and cute enough to cheer your children (Image credit: Canva). Hedgehog can be one of your best starter pets as they are nocturnal. This simply means that it sleeps when your children are out to school in the morning and they are ready to play with the children at night. However, they can be a little shy initially. So, spend more time on proper daily handling to help them relax and feel comfortable with you. Furthermore, your children need to be extra careful with their sharp quills that can make handling difficult. Once they are familiar with you, they are certainly one of the fun and low-maintenance pets for your household. They are very active in which they enjoy running, climbing, digging, and swimming. Thus, you also need to prepare a large, escape-proof cage with flat cage floor to prevent the hedgehog from getting stuck.\u00a0 You can also install a smooth-sided wheel to help the hedgehog to run as much as they want to prevent obesity. As for food, you can feed them with low-fat dry cat food supplemented with vegetables, mealworms, and crickets. Though hedgehogs can seem healthy, they can transmit bacteria like Salmonella\u00a0or\u00a0Mycobacteria. So, make sure your children always wash their hands after handling the hedgehogs. \tLifespan of the pet: 4-6 years. \tSpace required: A spacious cage with solid cage floor. \tCare requirements and needs: Daily feeding with special care. \tDesired interaction between your children and the pet: Enjoy gentle handling and playtime, with time needed for familiarisation. Providing More Joy With These Starter Pets at Home Now Not only do pets provide our children with companionship and entertainment, they are capable of teaching our children on selflessness and responsibility. This makes caring for a pet a positive and character building experience for our children. Pets take work, but they can be one of the most rewarding you can ever experience! 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