So, your kids have been pestering you for a pet and you think they might be ready for the responsibility of one. The question is what should you get? The go to choices are usually dogs and cats, but have you considered other options? The average lifespan of a dog is between 13-18 years and for cats it is 15-20 years. Is your child going to be in the house to take care of your new furry friend for that long?
Dogs are a big responsibility, requiring daily exercise, walks, grooming and frequent trips outside. Cats require plenty of attention too. Are your kids going to be willing to make sacrifices with their afterschool activities to spend time with their new pet?
If you are looking for a pet that is perhaps a little less needy of your time and attention, consider smaller and more independent pets like rats, guinea pigs, reptiles or fish. These pets still require daily cleaning and feeding which will teach your child responsibility but will not require as much time as a new puppy or kitten.
Just remember that with any pet you choose, you are responsible for its care and well-being for its entire life.