Summer is on its way, which means children will have more free time at home. If your child is asking for a pet, then now might be the perfect time to get one as it will give your child plenty of time to adjust to their new pet while allowing them to set up a care routine that they can sustain when school is back in session. If you’re worried about the price tag of a pet, then don’t stress. There are actually numerous starter pets that are easy to care for while costing very little each month. These ten are just the beginning but are all great options to consider, especially for a first pet.
A betta fish is a great place to begin the pet care journey. Bettas are beautiful fish that tend to live solitary lives, especially male fishes. These fish don’t require a lot of space either, so you won’t have to purchase a full-sized aquarium for them, which is great for the budget and those living in small spaces. When it comes to bettas, you can even choose tanks that are sustainable. Many tanks that grow plants on top of the tank will actually clean themselves and will allow the plants to thrive without constant watering. So, all you’ll really need to worry about is food for the pet, which is pretty inexpensive.
2. Hermit Crab
A hermit crab is another fantastic option that doesn’t take a huge budget. The pet itself usually ranges around $10, but they do prefer companionship, so you might consider getting two. Despite this, the price is still low in comparison to some pets. Hermit crabs will need a tank that they can roam in, but it doesn’t have to be exceptionally big. The tank should include water so that the hermit crab can rehydrate and enjoy a natural setting. You will also need to find extra shells, especially as the hermit crab grows. Food for this pet is also inexpensive, which can add even more appeal to purchasing a pet such as this.
3. Sea Monkeys
Sea monkeys are a tried-and-true pet that most parents can get on board with. Although they’re really just tiny shrimp, they are great for a child’s imagination. This is largely because the advertisements for the pets tend to show them off as little merpeople, which might encourage children to want to pay attention to them all the more. When you purchase a kit, it should provide you with everything that you need to keep the pet. Most of them even come with a magnifying glass so that kids can view the sea monkeys as the days pass.
4. Venus Fly Trap
You might not consider this to be a pet, but it can really become a great way to teach responsibility. These plants are pretty low-cost, but you might have to look around to find one. All you really need for a venus fly trap is soil, water, and the occasional fly to sustain its appetite. However, if you have flies around the house then you might not even need to handle this. Venus flytraps can be a great way for children to learn about science and so much more, which can be a wonderful way to help improve their curiosity.
Many kids grew up with hamsters because they are such affordable animals. These furry friends can instantly win the heart of a child because they’re pretty cute. This can help ease your child’s desire to have a more expensive pet. Apart from that, they tend to only cost you about $30 a month. This includes the bedding for their cage and food. Of course, setup may cost you a bit more as you will need a cage for the pet. However, you can always start with the basics and add on to the cage over time or if you choose to get other hamsters.
This cute little creature has a lot to offer your family and won’t cost you a bundle either. Although many people are confused as to whether or not it is a fish or an amphibian, or how to pronounce its name, the pet will always brighten your smile with its seemingly happy face. These creatures don’t require a lot of bells and whistles like some fish and reptiles do, which is why so many people find them to be a great pet option. You’ll need a tank for this pet, but you won’t have to worry about heaters or anything like that. However, it is always best to read up on any animal you take in, just to ensure you’re offering the best quality care.
7. Box Turtle
A box turtle has been a common pet for children for quite some time. That is because the pet is incredibly easy to take care of. The turtle will need a dry space as well as plenty of water to swim in, so if you have a small pond area outside then you’re already set up for success. A tank can also work wonders especially if you want the turtle in your child’s space. These animals can eat produce that you already have in the home, so you won’t have to spend a crazy amount on food. Box turtles tend to have a long lifespan as well, which can make you feel better about purchasing the pet.
8. Ant Farm
Another uncommon pet that you might not have thought about is ants. Ants are pretty common and tend to be a bit of a pest. However, when you purchase an ant farm kit, it offers the chance for your child to see how an ant lives its life. Anthills tend to come with everything you need to create a thriving farm, with the exception of the ants. However, once you choose a few ants for your ant farm, your child will be able to watch the ants at work, which can be a fascinating experience.
A goldfish is a classic pet that is going to work wonders for your family. Goldfish are extremely easy to care for and cost next to nothing. You can put a single goldfish in a small bowl or you can get several and keep them in a tank, depending on the space you have, the amount of money you want to spend, and your ability to clean a tank. You can spend some money decorating the tank, but you really don’t have to do that. Goldfish tend to grow based on the amount of space that they have, so you can even keep them in a pond if you have one at home. Maintenance for this pet is pretty low and will allow you to get away with just changing the water and feeding the pet.
For kids that like lizards, a gecko is a great option that is easy to maintain. You will need a warm tank to keep the gecko healthy, but the reptile doesn’t need a whole lot monthly to maintain its health. Geckos can be a lot of fun for kids that aren’t afraid of the creatures because they tend to be easy to handle. A gecko is a great way to open up the window to various reptiles as children get older. Some options might be an iguana or a snake if the child shows responsibility and dedication to the pet.
Owning a pet can be a big deal for a child and will help them build confidence while showing love and compassion to another creature. These ten starter pets are a great way to help your child learn just how much work goes into having a pet, which can be the start of a new stage in their life.