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Why are fish tanks better for kids over dogs and cats?

Picking that first pet for your kids can be tough, each one of us has fond memories of pets we shared our lives with. When it comes time to pick your kids first pet, here is why we believe picking fish is the best option.

why fish are better pets for kids

Cleanup is Much Easier

Pretty sure, just about every kid in America promises they will do all the cleanup, feeding and caring when it comes to dogs and cats. We all know who is changing the kitty litter and walking the dog after a long day of work! It's exciting to give your kid their first real taste of responsibility, but pets have a long life, and they have needs!

Considering the upside of keeping fish, they don't move around the room, knock stuff over or eat your lunch off your table. Fish make a great first pet that are clean and out of the way, or better said, in one place.

Depending on the size of your tank, your canister or hang on filter will do most of the cleanup. With weekly or monthly routine water changes and daily feedings, there is no comparison to the ease of keeping fish over dogs or cats.

Fish Don't Need Bonding Time

Certain breeds of dogs and cats are amazing when bonding with their owners. At times, it may seem that they know what the owner will do before they even do it. Dogs and cats are amazing that way, but the often overlooked part is, you won't always be there for them.

Unless you work from home, you will have to leave the house on a daily basis. Many dogs and cats suffer from separation anxiety leading to destructive behavior. This, in turn, leads to some pet owner medicating or even giving up the pet they swore they would keep forever.

Not so much with fish, they go on with their day, with or without you. Feed them at least once a day, top off the water and clean the filter once in a while and you have the perfect pet. The bonding is really on your side, not on the fishes part. Are fish smart enough to recognize their owners? Yes, but outside of that, they can be pretty indifferent about you and what your plans are.

Easier Lesson on the Life Cycle ( including Death! )

We are all born, we live then, eventually, we die. That's life, and kids will figure it out when scruffles doesn't show up to lick them in the face. That adorable dog or cat, the living version of their stuffed animal they got to hug and squeeze every day is no longer there for them. What can you do? Replace it with a new dog or cat? What kind of message would you be sending to a young impressionable mind?

On the flipside of that, you have fish, specifically freshwater fish that demonstrate the complete life cycle in a short period of time. Guppies and Platys are great livebearing fish that produce regular fry to repopulate your kids fish tank. The cycle of life experienced time and again experience the entire spectrum of life without the trauma.

Sure guppies are not nearly as huggable, soft and dry as old scruffles, but it's much easier to handle the loss!

Fish Cost Less to Keep and Replace

Pet shelters are a haven for returned pets like dogs and cats. That safety is short-lived, we all know what happens if they don't get rescued into forever homes. Several ongoing costs can get quickly out of hand, especially if you choose a rare or large breed to bring home. Yep, that cute little Great Dane puppy is going to be a 200 plus pound dog that will eat everything it can reach.

Here are a couple of points to prove fish are better than cat and dogs:


Flake food and pellet food is much more cost-effective than a premium dog or cat food. Sure you could feed your dog or cat food that is full of fillers, leading old fluffy to premature death. Most pet owners have a heart, paying for the best food they can buy, costing many times more than good old flake food.


When was the last time you took your goldfish to the vet? If Poochy, decides to swallow a double A battery, that's about $1000 bucks out of your kid's college fund. Face it, dogs and cats will chew and eat things you didn't even know you owned anymore, putting you at risk!


You know your dog Twitchy didn't mean to bite your kid, he just got excited that's all, right? Or, how about Snowball, nearly scratching your kids face off, accident right? Guess what, Guppies don't bite or scratch your kids face off! Nuff said.

Fish Stuff is Cooler!

Bubble volcanoes, pirate ships, and underwater scuba divers are so much cooler than pooper scoopers! Sometimes you even need shovels for dogs like Great Danes!

A big part of keeping an aquarium is designing the aquarium. Picking the perfect rocks, will you go with a natural theme or create your own? Imagination has no limits, each fish tank is unique to its owner. Your kid gets to create a world for its fish and learn what it takes to keep that fish happy and healthy.

Final Thoughts

In all seriousness, an appreciation for life and to an extension, our global eco-system can be experienced by owning your own fish tank. Kids can be exposed to an amazing array of life and choices that lead to long term learning and opportunities for responsibility. Practically self-cleaning, quiet and self-contained, tropical fish are an amazing cost-effective pet option for kids.

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