Whats a Good Pet for a Busy 10 Year Old??

Updated on September 20, 2009
M.G. asks from Hawley, PA
8 answers

I recentlly got my children each a hermit crab. My sons died after 1 week. He found a turtle crawling across our backyard and decided to keep that as a pet. After reading about how to take care of turtles on the interenet we decided it was too much work for him becasue he is very busy with sports.He is also going to start middle school this year so I don't want him to get overwhelmed with sports , school and a pet on top of his chores.Does anyone have a suggestion for a friendly pet that does not require alot of maintenance. Hermit crabs do not require alot of maintenance but he wants something that he can also handle and play with.

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answers from New York on

I think a great pet for a 10 yo is a bird, Cockatiel, to be specific. I've had them since I was around 8, or so. If you get one young, and hand fed, they are very loving, and sweet. They can stay in the cage, but love interacting with people and all you have to do is feed them daily, and change the paper at the bottom of their cage weelky. It's hard to tell the sex so young, but males talk a little. Mine says, "hi storm" (his name is stormy) "I love you" and "lexis" (my daughter's name)
I hope this was helpful!!



answers from New York on

Hi M.,

Unfortunately, most... if not all... pets require maintenance. Are your other children interested in having a pet? Can they share in the responsibilities of taking care of an animal? That may help lessen the burden on your son.

If you are worried about how your son is going to manage all of his activities as well as taking care of a pet, I would suggest going with something very easy, like a fish aquarium. Fish can't be held or played with, but they are pretty easy to take care of and an aquarium is quite relaxing to have in your bedroom. I had a ten gallon aquarium in my bedroom for years and years and loved taking a break while doing homework to watch my fish.



answers from New York on


You say, "Whats a good pet for a busy 10 year old??" If he is that busy does HE really want the pet? Like others have said any pet requires care and time. If your child REALLY wants a pet they will find the time to care for it, otherwise it will be your pet!

With that said, I have a 10 yr old daughter and she loves animals. I started small and built up because it was "her pet" and not mine (I have our dog! and don't want or need to care for another animal!). We started with fish and hermit crabs. SHe learned to clean the cage/bowl monthly and feed as necessary. Only once she mastered that did we consider buying her a gerbil/hamster. You can clean their cage every 2-4 weeks. Water bottle and food hold alot so it doesn't have to be done daily. She waits many times until the the cage smells bad to clean it (it is in her room so I really don't care). She now wants a rabbit but that's a big leap.

Growing up I had a parakeet. They are a bit messy... when they fly around the cage their feathers and food get all over. However, the cage is easier to clean then the gerils and less smelly (I think)! Food and water can stay for a good amount of time like the gerbils so it is not a daily thing.

Bottom line... give your son some choices that you feel comfotable with and see where his interest lies. If he really wants the pet, you need to explain that it is his to take care of. I would really suggest you test the water with other animals (hermit crab, fish) to make sure he will care for the new pet. Too many kids think it is so cool to have a pet, but do not realize the commitment. And, I would suggest not interferring ... let him care for his pet --- reminders might be necessary but don't do the work. If there is a place in your child's room for the animal, I think that helps for them to take ownership of it.

Reasearch animals online --- maybe snakes might be easier?

Good Luck.


answers from New York on

Is there a specific reason why you need a pet for your son only instead of a household pet? I have cats and a dog which are household pets. Yes I do 90% of the care which I don't mind but everyone pitches in to take the dog out walking or scoop the litter box.



answers from New York on

Snakes are wonderful, easy pets (if you are the type of person who can handle having one in the house). Ball pythons and Corn Snakes are the most docile. They eat about twice a month and poop about twice a month. They only require an undertank heat source and a monthly cage cleaning.



answers from New York on

First having any pet takes alot of time. They need care and attention. Second, adding a pet to a family is the equivalent of adding another child, so if you don't have the time for another child you really don't have the time for a pet either. If you did you would be doing a serious disservice to the animal. And you'd eventually end up getting rid of it because it took to much time, just like the turtle. So, please if your not interested in making a serious commitment to this animal, and if it doesn't work out you would just get rid of it, don't even bother to get one. Our pounds and shelters are full of pets that people thought would be great to have and when it got to be to much they just "disposed" of them. If your not going to commit to this animal for their entire life, please don't get one.



answers from Rochester on

I was going to say fish as well. They need to be fed daily and the tank cleaned weekly (if you do freshwater fish.) That is about the lowest level of responsibility a pet can demand.



answers from New York on

a kitten isn't to hard.. they need to be fed..usually once a day... and clean water.. and then you clean out the litter box every other day.. and refill it. cats like to be held sometimes.. but not all the time.. maybe you can check with a place that has cat adoptions.. or you can foster a cat.. which means you take it for a while.. see how it goes.. and then you adopt it.. or wait until someone else adopts it. my friend.. fosters.. she will take a cat,, foster it for a few weeks.. then it's adopted... then she can take another foster pet.. or wait until she wants to do it again... it's a great idea for you.. good luck but remember all pets do take time .. and you must make time to love them too.

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