Pets for Kids – Is it worth it?

Pets – Dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, fish etc. They come in all shapes and sizes and we love them all. What about you? Does your family have a pet?

In our house we have three pets:

We have two pet dogs, Coco and Charlie who we adore.

We also have a pet Guinea Pig, Bugsy.

We did have two pet Guinea pigs but sadly, Rascal our other pet Guinea Pig, passed away a few weeks back.

We have had our Guinea pigs for about six years now and Zak was really upset saying goodbye to one of our furry friends as you can imagine. We held a little burial ceremony in our back garden (although he didn’t actually watch us bury the poor piggie) and he laid a few flowers and carved an ‘R’ into the wood planter where we buried her. It was quite touching and emotional.

As a parent, I’ve really struggled to deal with this issue of death. Zak has been asking lots of questions; things like does it hurt to die, did his piggie go to pet heaven, will he ever see her again etc. When your child is distressed it’s your natural instinct as a parent to comfort them and to try to fix whatever is upsetting them. Only in this case, it’s death. I can’t fix this one and I don’t have the answers. I guess this is one of the major downsides of having a pet but in a way it’s also a positive because it’s introduced Zak to the concept of death and grief in a gentle way. I wish I could protect him from it forever but I can’t so maybe it’s better to learn about it this way.

What do you think, is it worth having a family pet? How do you handle those difficult conversations with the kids? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment below





  1. March 28, 2016 / 20:08

    We have two cats, but they were only 18 months old when O was born. I hope that he will be much older and better equipped to deal with the loss when they pass away, but even if that’s not the case I will definitely never regret having them. They are teaching him how to love and respect animals, and I think that’s really important.

    We actually had to have the death conversation last March when my gran passed away. I had been taking him to visit her every month or so ever since he was tiny, but we had all been sick with various things since before Christmas that year and we didn’t want to pass anything on to her, so he hadn’t seen her since Christmas Eve when she died. He caught me crying the next day and asked me why, so I explained to him that his Nana Doreen had been very poorly and the doctors couldn’t make her better, so she had gone to be with the angels and we wouldn’t be able to see her anymore. He was pretty accepting, but he was only just over two and a half at the time.

    Grief is so hard on kids, and it’s hard for parents to know how to handle it. I’m sure you did a great job :).

    • admin
      March 28, 2016 / 20:12

      So sorry to hear about your Gran. You’re totally right though, pets teach so much to kids including a bit of responsibility and loving and caring for them. Wouldn’t be without ours X

  2. March 29, 2016 / 06:44

    We have two cats which are very much family pets. My eldest cat is 14 and is beginning to show her age. I am prepared for the inevitable and the talk that will follow but I’m hoping she has a few more years yet.

    • admin
      March 29, 2016 / 06:47

      I think it’s totally worth having them, enjoy them and don’t worry until it happens x

  3. March 29, 2016 / 10:17

    I would like to get a dog when the boys are a bit older, but I hadn’t actually thought about how I would explain them dying. At the moment we just say that when you die, you go up skies and so far they haven’t questioned that. You’re right though, those questions can be really tricky to answer. #TwinklyTuesday

    • admin
      March 29, 2016 / 10:23

      It’s definitely tricky to explain. Getting a dog is so worth it if you have the time and energy. Wouldn’t be without ours now. Thanks for commenting x

  4. March 29, 2016 / 15:28

    I had a few pets when I was younger and I think it definitely taught me how to be responsible and look after something .

  5. March 29, 2016 / 19:06

    I think pets are a good thing but only if you have the time and ability to look after them, especially with younger kids because they won’t. As they grow and learn they will, but not early. I don’t worry about the issue of death because I feel comfortable talking to the boys about death, so that wouldn’t worry me too much 🙂 H x
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  6. March 29, 2016 / 19:14

    We don’t have any pets, we have too many children at the moment to even contemplate one and my mum (i.e chief babysitter) has a strong allergy to pet hair too. I think the boys would really benefit though as they are so terrified of animals, especially dogs

  7. March 29, 2016 / 23:14

    You have the cutest dogs! I’ve so far said no to pets just because of the extra work of looking after them on top of three young kids! Although my little ones have been lobbying hard for a pet of some kind. I agree that it is probably a more gentle introduction to death but still a tough one.

    • admin
      March 30, 2016 / 06:06

      Thank you! You do really really have to love dogs to have them because they’re an awful lot of work and expensive too. Luckily we do as they’ve trashed quite a lot of the house as puppies! Guinea pigs are definitely easier lol x

  8. March 31, 2016 / 20:46

    We’ve only had two fish and when the first one died, Jack was devastated and it was soooo sad to see him so upset and not be able to take that away. We bought the second one to cheer him up and that died within 2 weeks, (it had a fish disease) and thankfully he wasn’t that bothered second time around! No other pets for us for now, but he does keep asking for a rabbit!! x

  9. April 22, 2021 / 09:32

    I brought home a German Shepherd at the age of 15 and he lived with us till I turned 26. His passing away was a big shock for me and it took me some time to recover, which is natural, as you grieve and move on with your life.
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  10. July 19, 2021 / 10:31

    I remember when my parents brought our first pet, a handsome German Shepherd when me and my brother were 14 and 12 respectively. He was a darling, enriched our lives and showed us what unconditional love is. He lived for 12 years and died in a very peaceful and graceful manner though he was in deep pain. I was completely heart broken and sad but eventually come to terms with the loss.
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