Pets are the kind of beings that complete a family. Having a pet is more like having a family member who always supports and loves you no matter what. Pets bring out the best in us and motivate us to do well every day. They cuddle, play and are always cheerful. This is perfect if you have a teen in the house 🙂
About Pets & Teens!
As a parent, when you have a teen in the house you are probably trying to find ways to improve their life and motivate them without nagging! Getting a pet can be a subtle way to do this.
Kids are very fond of pets, especially teens. Children face endless ups and downs through their teenage years and are likely to have things going on that they find stressful. Some might get anxious, some might develop anger issues, or others might become quiet and recluse. The teenage years are a key part of a child’s development. Having a pet by their sides can help a teenager through any challenges and struggles they may be facing. The companionship and comfort a pet provides will be invaluable.
On top of all of this, a pet will encourage your teen to be responsible. There are some chores that they will need to do to keep the pet in good health, such as cleaning out their enclosure or taking a dog for walks. These will be helping your child build a more responsible and ‘grown up’ mindset.
Another thing to say would be that a lot of teenagers might scoff at the idea of having a new pet around the house (this is just how a lot of teenagers are! I was like this too!!). So before buying a pet outright, I would see if you could borrow one from a friend or family member for a few weeks (maybe whilst they are on holiday). This will give you a good idea how your teenager will react to a pet around the house.
Let’s take a look at the list of 7 best pets we recommend for teenagers.
Dogs are one of the most lovable pets on this list. They cuddle, play, exercise and can even dance with you. They can regularly keep your mood-lifted, as you are less likely to feel alone or empty with a dog around the house.
A dog could be the last piece in the puzzle for your family to lead a more harmonious life. I speak from experience here, as my family got their first dog when I was a young teenager. I have fond memories of my sister and I spending hours playing and going on walks with our new pet. I particularly remember tossing sticks as far as I could through farmer’s fields (I am sure they were delighted with this!) and laughing as our dog bounded around to find them.
Just keep in mind that this new family member of yours requires your attention and care too. Dogs are on the higher end of the pet maintenance scale, so commit accordingly. And test out your child’s commitment levels by ‘trying out’ someone else’s dog before buying your own. You don’t want to get stuck looking after it yourself!
Diet: Although dogs can eat almost anything that you eat during your day to maintain their health, it would be beneficial to provide your dog with fish, meat, be it raw or processed(meat only), fruits, veggies etc. You can also feed them with pre-prepared dog food, which is freely available at most supermarkets.
Breed: You can match the breed of your new pet dog to the character of your teenager. If you have a very lively and active teen, you may want a larger dog that requires more active play and excercise. However, if your teen is a stay at home type then a smaller lap dog would match better. It is also a good idea to get a dog breed that is known to be playful (such as a labrador or a golden retriever). This will make it easier for your teen to have a solid bond with your new pet.
Cats are adorable and very amicable creatures. Being less high maintenance than a typical dog, they make a great pet for a busy teen. Cats are playful or sometimes lazy, depending on the breed, but they still are very supportive and lovable. You can give them a small place to live in your house or let them roam around too. They love to explore the corners of your home.
Again, I can speak from experience here. We always had a cat in my home growing up as a teen, and I used to love playing with our cat. It also felt special when the cat would choose to come sleep at the bottom of my bed during the night (maybe that’s just me!).
Diet: Cat’s diet can range from oats, peas, eggs, blueberries to fish, chicken, turkey etc. Avoid giving them more human delicacies such as caffeine, chocolate etc., as these can make them sick.
Pros and Cons: Pros of owning a cat include having a mice free house (unless of course your cat hunts some of your neighbourhood mice and brings back a ‘trophy’). Cons might be that they can be moody sometimes and can mess up your room or your work files too. Although cats don’t crave attention in the same ways dogs do, cats are attracted to any activity going on in their household. I mean, how many unboxing videos have you watched on YouTube where cats turn up and start pawing things?? Can get annoying to some teens 🙂
Rabbits can prove to be one of your kids’ best pets, as they are brilliant and goofy. Rabbits can keep you smiling all the time when you play with them, as they are very playful in nature.
Diet: Although they are herbivores, that still doesn’t mean that they can be fed with anything in the vegetarian category. They require fibre the most, which can be provided through hay, something rabbits like a lot. Avoid giving them junk food, milk or dairy products, meat and eggs as they can harm them.
Pros and Cons: Pros of having a rabbit as your pet include that they are super cute to have around you and are very playful in nature. The cons include the fact that they require a lot of cleanups of their cage, which can take some time each week (and smell a lot if you slack off here). Also, rabbits like to chew things, so you should be aware of this and try to keep them away from electrical cables and other things you don’t want knawed!
Descendants of the wild guinea pigs of South America, these little creatures can be entertaining to be a pet. They are relatively low maintenance and make an excellent pet for kids. They love to be kept in pairs, though, because they also look for companionship.
Guinea pigs are one of the most common exotic pets today. Their cute appearance and social character make them ideal pets to have around teens.
Diet: They can be fed with Timothy, which is low-calcium hay. Vitamin C should be included in their daily diet, and grass should be offered freely throughout the day.
Pros and Cons: Guinea Pigs are quite energetic and lovely. They’re also a great option for first-time pet owners and apartment dwellers, since they don’t require a lot of space and can be litter box trained.
They don’t often bite and also like to be carried or held close. In fact, Guinea pigs are social creatures. However, just like dogs and cats, they need plenty of attention. You can’t just put them in a cage and expect them to be happy. Also, they have a rather short Lifespan. Guinea pigs live to be about 5-7 years old at best. This is good news if you are not looking for a long-term commitment with your pet, but bad news if you have a sensitive teen 🙂
Finally, Guinea pigs do not tolerate heat or cold very well, so you’ll need to provide a cozy cage and a heat pad, or keep them indoors for a more consistent temperature.
Lizards make suitable teen pets, as they look fascinating and can expose the kid to a different kind of pet and teach them how to be friendly or tackle something unique. The most owned lizard is a chameleon, which is a magnificent creature in the world of lizards.
Diet: They can be fed with live insects that are smaller than them, for example, insects. Avoid feeding them with broccoli, spinach or such veggies as they have certain ingredients which prevent these reptiles from absorbing calcium properly. In short, do your research on chameleon diet!
Pros and Cons: The pros of having such a small pet are that it doesn’t require much space and can be kept easily. The cons include that it might be challenging to find a specialist veterinary doctor for such a small animal. Also, they are supposed to be exposed to and kept under ample sunlight, and in general a more tropical environment. Might be tough if you live in a colder climate!
Mice are great if kept as a pet. They are playable, fun, friendly and quite interesting. Mice are very low maintenance, too, which again makes them eligible for an ideal teen pet.
Diet: Being a rodent, mice can be served nuts, seeds, grains and small fruits. A mouse will chew on just about anything you feed them, but you should still think carefully about their feed. The best way to feed pet mice is to keep them on a strict diet of healthy, fortified mouse food, just as you would with any other pet. That way, you can be sure your mice will receive all the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.
Pros and Cons: The pros of having a pet rat are that they are low maintenance. They can be kept with ease, but the cons include that they can bite very often if they don’t feel safe. Also, they have a brief life span, so the loss might be a hurtful experience for your teen.
Birds are magnificent and attractive creatures. Their presence can enlighten your whole mood. Birds can make a great pet as they have a good life span; though this might vary from species to species, they still have an average of 10-20 years minimum life span.
Diet: Birds can be fed with fresh fruits, vegetables, seeding grasses, etc. They don’t eat a lot, so it is not a big problem to manage their diet. Avoid giving them avocado, caffeine, chocolate etc., as these might harm them. Also keep them away from anything Teflon related! Studies have shown that fumes from distressed Teflon can be harmful to birds.
Pros and Cons: The pros include that they are low maintenance and take significantly less space. The cons include that some people might find their chirping rather annoying. Also, a bird is not really a creature that you can pet easily, so it might be harder for your teen to create a lasting bond.
There you have it! Our top list of pets we would recommend for any teen laden home 🙂 Hopefully this gave you a good starting point in your pet buying journey.