Small Kids Shouldn’t Have Pets of Their Own

Madison Stears, Staff Writer

To have a family pet is something that is enjoyed by millions of families across the globe. But some parents make the decision to get their young children a pet of their own to care for.

While the parents may think this helps build responsibility, they are often incorrect. There are very few children who can completely and independently care for an animal. Most kids just want the animal to play with, but are reluctant to care for it.

Not only could the animal live without being properly cared for, but children who do care for their animals may make mistakes that they just cannot come back from.

Take for example my sister Kylie. As a fifth grader, she had a pet hamster named Precious. After promising my mother that she would fully take care of Precious herself, the hamster soon became my mother’s responsibility. Kylie was given a choice: either take care of Precious or she would be given away to a better home. Unable to part with her beloved hamster, Kylie took it upon herself to clean the hamster cage in order to prove to my mother that she could care for Precious. While cleaning the cage, Kylie put Precious in the bathroom to run around and exercise in an enclosed space so she would not get lost. While the cage cleaning was taking place, Precious chewed a hole in the wall and wedged in. There is still a hamster, either dead or alive, in the walls of my home.

Not only is my sister scared for life, but the idea of caring for another animal again haunts her. Young kids are not developed enough to make rational decisions for themselves, let alone make decisions for the life of an animal. Children can be taught responsibility in safer ways that don’t have the ability to damage them emotionally or hurt the animals.