Dear Diary,

Life with pets is nothing like life without them. These four-legged friends use their superpowers to make you laugh even when you are sad, wake you up early even though you are not a morning person, and go for a late night stroll no matter how exhausted you are. But most importantly, they teach our kids empathy, compassion, and unconditional love–important personality traits. Given this, it comes as no surprise that Americans own about 80 million dogs and 96 million cats, and that number continues to rise, especially in families with kids. And pet ownership, just like parenthood, comes with rules and responsibilities. That’s why it is so important to learn what pets are family friendly and least problematic in terms of nutrition, training and daily care.

Small Dog Breeds

Experts suggest that small dogs are easier to handle and are the best option for first time pet owners. If you have small kids, check out small breeds like Brussels Griffon, Boston Terrier, Maltese and Chihuahua.

Friendly Cats

Although cats are typically not as playful as dogs, it doesn’t mean your kid won’t become best friends with a kitten, especially, if you decide to choose a frisky breed. According to experts, not all cats are equal, and some enjoy being teased and hugged more than others. So, lean towards breeds, such as Birman, Abyssinian, Persian, Maine Coon and Manx.

Tiny Little Hamsters

If neither dogs nor pets are an option for you, adopt a fluffy hamster. Keep in mind that your kids should be old enough to handle the animal with care. A hamsters is also the perfect choice if you live in an apartment, since the animal won’t require a lot of space. All it takes is an average-sized aquarium or a small cage lined with wood chips or shredded newspaper. Bonus: Your kids will probably try spinach or carrots whey they see their hamster chow down on the healthy, veggie diet.


Fish make a great ‘starter’ pets for you and your children. Although some care is still required, it’s nothing compared to morning walks in the dog park or declawing a cat. All it will take is fodder, an aquarium and some sea grass simply for the sake of beauty.

The choice is up to you! Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility, but it’s so worth it. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that kids grow into smarter, healthier and happier adults when they have pets. Having a pet fulfills human life with emotions that would otherwise be out of reach, so make a step towards the good life for you and your family. Chances are you’ll never forget that happy smile on your kids faces when they meet their four-legged (or two-finned) friend for the first time.

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