Child friendly pet options

You may think that the easiest pet of them all is the humble goldfish – and you’d be right and wrong. While they definitely don’t need walking and they won’t break the bank in fish food, you may end up spending quite a bit of time and energy just keeping them alive. This family pet will need a regular supply of aerated water and this means investing in a pump. Aquariums need regular cleaning and maintenance and this will probably all fall to you to do.

Best kid-friendly pets

Quite simply, the small mammals that need no walking, minimal cleaning and can live quite happily on family food scraps.

  • Hamsters
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Mice
  • Rats (Dr Harry’s favourite choice for a kid-friendly pet!)
  • Rabbits

But if your heart is set on something a little more interactive and you’re happy to invest the time and love on a dog or cat, these are the breeds most temperamentally suited for children:


  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Maltese/ ShihTzu cross
  • Pug
  • Whippet


  • Abyssinian
  • American and exotic shorthair
  • Birman
  • Burmese
  • Manx
  • Persian
  • Ragdoll
  • Somali


  1. kymmage 30/03/2018 at 11:36 pm

    I had a guinea pig growing up. She was adorable but they only live 5 years and her death broke me as a kid. Plus Mum and Dad did a lot of work maintaining them – fresh hay, water, and having to move the cage around as well. We just get a domestic short hair cat usually. On our third as a couple and this one came from the SPCA. Totally agree that fish are hard work – all those filter cleans and water changes. My eldest wants a fish again, and I’m just digging my heels in at the moment.

  2. Mands1980 13/03/2018 at 8:10 pm

    We have had a Labrador and a Burmese cat which we recently had to get put to sleep the kids loved her so much. I have also tamed up wild kittens they make great pets.

  3. felicity beets 12/03/2018 at 4:57 pm

    we had a guinea pig which was a great pet growing up – we could even take her travelling with us in the car.

  4. MuddledUpMolly 08/03/2018 at 2:28 pm

    We have a family cat but would love the get a new puppy. The only thing that worries me is that dogs need so much more care than cats and I also worry how the cat is going to react! He didn’t like our old dog and was quite mean to him 🙁

  5. Kjgee 07/03/2018 at 8:33 am

    We definitely spent a lot of time and money on our pet fish! Personally I wasn’t a fan and much prefer something interactive like our pet cat, a beautiful rescue from the SPCA. My daughter recently learned that it a Norwegian Forest cat and has learned all about the breed and happy to tell anyone who will listen about our Viking cat!

  6. Bevik1971 05/03/2018 at 5:02 pm

    We would like to get some fish as we aren’t allowed any other pets where we live at present. We do want to get a small dog when we move next though. My Mum has 2 Burmese cats (brother and sister), they are the funniest things and really act human like at times haha

  7. Misskay80 02/03/2018 at 2:28 pm

    Personally I think you can’t go past a good old rescue animal, both our cat’s and rabbit have been from the spca. hadest part about adopting an animal is not being able to give them all a home. 🙁

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