3 Wonderfully Rewarding Pets (For Households That Can’t Have Cats Or Dogs)

Pets are a wonderfully welcome addition to any home, but are particularly important for those raising children. Pets are not only great friends for kids, they’re also a great learning tool. They teach our kids empathy, compassion, responsibility and commitment. And when they reach a ripe old age they also teach our kids the heartbreaking but necessary lesson of how to cope with their loss.

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Many parents may want to get their kids a pet, yet for a number of reasons cats or dogs may not be an option. You or your partner may have allergies or phobias or your tenancy agreement may strictly prohibit the keeping of dogs and cats in your home. Nonetheless, parents still have a range of wonderful options, including…

Guinea pigs

They’re fabulously fluffy, infinitely cute, loving and loyal. Guinea pigs are a wonderful pet for even young children. While your child may need a little education on how to properly handle a guinea pig, once they’re used to a human, they will be happy to snuggle. In fact, it’s recommended that you spend around half an hour a day cuddling with your guinea pig and hanging out with them while they have “free range” time. They make wonderful chirruping noises, they jump up and down when they’re excited (a phenomenon known as ‘popcorning’) and are clean and hygienic animals, although their cages should be cleaned out regularly.

It’s important to note that guinea pigs are very social creatures and should always be bought in pairs. Even if they receive human snuggles every day, they will still pine for piggie companionship.


It’s almost important to hold a bunny in your hands, see their little nose twitch and not fall head over heels in love. The good news is that rabbits can actually be excellent pets for children whether they’re kept outside in a hutch or live in the home with you.

Rabbits have a great deal of personality and can get extremely close to their human counterparts. Still, like any pet, there are a few things you need to know before letting a rabbit into your home and these tips may help. Rabbits are prodigious nibblers and so it’s extremely important that they’re supervised when let out to have the run of your home. Otherwise you can expect to replace a lot of electrical cables.  

Like guinea pigs, rabbits also love the company of their own kind, so it’s definitely worth considering pairs of bunnies rather than solo bunnies. The good news is that keeping two rabbits requires very little more effort or expense than keeping one.


Rats suffer from really bad PR. Sure they may have carried the odd plague, but despite the preconceptions many hold, rats are actually affectionate and extremely intelligent creatures who form deep and meaningful bonds with their human owners.

Rats are playful, friendly and are very forthcoming in their affections. They will actually lick you like a dog if you earn their love. They also, however, need stimulation (they’re smart cookies don’t forget) so it’s important that they always have lots of toys and games to play with.

As you can see, even if your child has to grow up without a cat or a dog, parents still have lots of wonderful options!


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