Teens love to have pets just as much as younger kids and adults. But, teens are a different breed. Choosing pets for them requires forethought if you don’t want to be saddled with the responsibility of your kid’s pet.
A Few Words about Teens
Teens are not kids anymore and still not adults yet. They can be moody, flighty, busy and lazy all at the same time. But, they can be pet owners if they decide this is something that they want to do.
Talk to your teen. Before they can settle on a pet to bring home, gauge your teen’s level of maturity, free time and commitment to the idea of a pet. Also, make sure that they understand that the pet is their responsibility. With that in mind, caution against choosing any pet that needs a lot of care that could fall on you.
Pets for Teens
* Exotic fish – At this age, they can graduate from goldfish. They may be interested in betta fish, Oscars, eels or other sea creatures. These fish don’t require cuddling but they do need careful attention to water temperature, salinity and food intake. But, a responsible teen who loves the exotic could find some awesome pets in this category.
* Dogs – Teens, who have been around dogs as younger children, are more likely to be able to handle owning one as a teen. Dogs need exercise, training and bathroom breaks – even in the middle of the night. No matter what else they are doing (term papers, dates, studying) if they can still be called upon to care for the family dog, they may be ready for one of their own.
* Reptiles – For the teen who doesn’t want late night or early morning walks with their pet, a turtle, lizard, snake or other amphibian could meet their needs. Many of these pets like their food alive and kicking like mice, crickets, grasshoppers or other food sources. If they are not squeamish, a reptile is perfect.
* Tarantula – Arachnids are creepy to many people but teens might not be so grossed out. They like to crawl, eat live bugs and sleep. Their habitat is an aquarium where they can move around and relax.
* Birds – Birds are expensive so make sure that it is what your teen wants. Birds love to socialize but they don’t need to be cuddled. Occasional conversation and regular feeding will keep them happy. Also, if your teen is gone a lot, get two birds that can occupy each other.
* Cats – Cats don’t mind being loners. They love company but can give you your space when you need it.
Teens are a breed unto themselves. Their pet needs to be able to match their personality and their social schedule. Here are some choices to help them find the best pet.