Tim from The Witty Fish shared with Healthy Lombard that if you’re a parent you have likely considered getting your child a pet at some point. A child can benefit in many ways by being responsible for the life of a small animal. As an animal lover and parent, Tim has gotten a variety of different pets for his children.
But what kind of pet should you get for your child? Common options include things like corn snakes, guinea pigs, hamsters, reptiles, cats, and dogs. While each of these animals can make great pets, my aim is to convince you that you should consider fish instead.
Reasons Fish Make Great Pets For Kids
Why do fish make great pets for kids? There are a variety of reasons. Some of them are common to all pets. Others are unique to fish. Either way, you will find these are all great reasons.
So let’s dive in and explore the top 8 reasons fish make great pets for kids!
1. Pet Fish Can’t Escape
Would the thought of a loose mouse, gerbil, or even a snake keep you up at night? Many types of small pets recommended for children want nothing more than to escape confinement. This has happened in my home more than once. Sometimes we can’t even find the little fugitive for days!
Children are still learning responsibility and make mistakes. They may not secure a lid tightly, or at all. Even if they do a good job with the lid, a squirmy pet may still wiggle its way out of their grasp. In any case, this is a very real concern and something that should be considered.
The good news is this isn’t something you need to worry about with pet fish! While some fish do jump, a decent aquarium lid prevents any such mishaps.
2. Great Tool To Educate & Teach Responsibility
There is a great deal that a child can learn when caring for an aquarium full of fish. I’d even go as far as to say they will learn more than with any other pet. They will learn about responsibility, water chemistry, water filtration, temperature, breeding & genetics, biology, and even death.
With such a broad category of things to learn children as young as preschoolers and as old as teenagers all have something to learn.
At the preschool-age children can be given the responsibility of daily feedings. In addition to responsibility, they will also learn that like themselves, fish get hungry and need food to survive. They can also learn that different types of aquatic pets need different kinds of food.
As they get older they can be taught how to clean and maintain an aquarium. This includes learning a little about the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, and temperature.
This may also be a great time to start introducing concepts such as breeding and genetics.
Live bearers, or fish that give birth to live free-swimming young, are great for this. Fancy guppies are my favorite due to their wide variety of bright colors. By breeding guppies, a child can learn about heredity, genotype, and phenotype.
It’s very interesting to see the offspring that two different colored guppy parents produce!
Inevitably, your child also has the opportunity to learn about death. Fish are short-lived animals and will eventually pass away. As dark and difficult as it may seem this can be a non-threatening opportunity to teach a child about death.