Top 10 pets for Children | And the link to business success


Pets for Children


  • Does a pet in childhood create a more successful adult?
  • Can childhood pets make you a better manager?
  • How does having a pet help with creating long lasting connections?
  • Do pets make you more resilient?
  • Does your childhood pet make you a smarter adult?
  • Do pets create more well-rounded adults?
  • Bottom line: bet on your pet
We all know and have heard about the amazing and profound benefits a cuddly companion can have on your child’s overall wellbeing and confidence, not to mention instilling a sense of responsibility. But what you might not be so aware of, is how caring for a pet can help children later in life, contributing profoundly to professional and financial success.
We all want our children to become successful adults, and to give them the responsibility of owning and caring for a pet, but with all the choices available it can be hard to know what the best pets for children are, so we’ve compiled the top 10 pets to fit your every need.
number 1 pet for children - dog
Dogs are good pets for kids as they can offer amazing companionship as well as helping them develop skills around responsibility, discipline, and problem-solving. Dog’s rely heavily on non-verbal communication with their owners, helping children increase their emotional intelligence. As dogs are active animals, they encourage physical activity and promote a healthy lifestyle. Training dogs also cultivates patience, persistence, and adaptability. Some of the best dogs for kids include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Labrador Retriever.
number 2 pet for children - cat
With a delicate nature, cats teach children how to be gentle and considerate. Although cats can be very independent, there is still lots to be learned for children when caring for one. Emotional intelligence, communication, problem-solving and non-verbal communication are all honed whilst caring for cats, as they are wonderful communicators. You’ll always know exactly how your cat is feeling! Some of the best cats for children include the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll.
number 3 pet for children - hamster
Don’t let their size fool you, hamsters are full of personality and full of learning opportunities for any child. Caring for a hamster teaches responsibility, routine, empathy, and gentle handling. Children can also develop observational skills, by being able to closely monitor behaviors, and resilience through experiences like loss, as a hamster's life span is typically only around 2-3 years. The best hamster for kids would be the Syrian hamster.
number 4 pet for children - gerbil
Being a small size children learn how to handle gerbils gently, teaching them empathy as well as responsibility and the importance of routine. Gerbils have a friendly nature, teaching children patience, calmness and keen observation skills.
Although small, gerbils do love to move around allowing children to learn adaptability as well as encouraging physical activity. With a life span of 5-8 years, gerbils are excellent companions through a child’s younger life.
Despite being social creatures, guinea pigs have a very gentle nature. They encourage creative thinking through imaginative play. However, they also teach children how to respect the vulnerability of an animal that needs gentle handling. Guinea pigs only need to be fed their pellets once a day, making them a great pet to learn responsibility while still being low maintenance. Guinea pigs are the perfect option to ease younger children into the responsibilities of being a pet owner with a shorter lifespan of 5-7 years.
number 6 pet for children - mouse
With low costs and low maintenance with minimal grooming needs - they are perfect for forgetful children! Mice can become attached to their owners and with their surprisingly social and interactive nature; mice enjoy playing, making them a fun and loving pet that brings life and adventure to a home! Mice also exhibit fascinating behaviors such as grooming, nesting and foraging, increasing your child’s observational skills, but can also be an educational experience. As fun as mice are, they do have a shorter life span of 1-3 years, teaching your child about loss quite early on in their pet journey.
number 7 pet for children - parrot
As highly cognitive pets and the only animal with the ability to mimic words and phrases, parrots are extremely fun and help children with their cognitive development. Parrots form close bonds with their owners making loving this pet an emotionally fulfilling experience. If you’re looking for a life-long companion, parrots are the best bet as they tend to have long lifespans stretching over that help children with adaptability and reasoning as parrots have complex needs, behaviors and even personalities that help owners gain more understanding. However, as noisy creatures it’s important to recognise that parrots are a high maintenance pet. They need ample space to move around, they require long commitment and specialized care for their physical and emotional wellbeing.
number 8 pet for children - budgie
With a playful and social nature, budgies are perfect for playing with children as budgies form close bonds with their owners and enjoy interacting with them. Budgies are excellent at learning new tricks and mimicking sounds. As intelligent birds, they help children develop their cognitive ability. As loving birds, budgies are a source of comfort, producing pleasant chirping and singing sounds. Although relatively low maintenance, budgies are social birds and are prone to loneliness so it may be worth buying two or more budgies to help look after their emotional wellbeing. Budgies have a large lifespan, however they require daily care. From cleaning its cage, providing fresh food and water as well as daily mental stimulation through toys and interaction.
number 9 pet for children - fish
Keeping a fish can be a great choice for people with varying lifestyles.
Not requiring the grooming, walking or even regular playtime as other pets may, fish are incredibly low maintenance. Aside from the intermittent tank cleaning, looking after a fish is relatively easy. Watching a fish swim is a calm and soothing experience, making fish one of the more peaceful pets to invest in! Fish provide an enriching education experience for children, where they can learn about aquatic ecosystems, biology and the responsibility of caring for a creature that survives in a different environment from humans. When it comes to choosing the right fish, you are spoilt for choice in being able to meet all your needs. Coming in various species, you can choose a fish for bigger or smaller spaces and with lifespans varying between a few years to decades.
number 10 pet for children - reptile
No need for walks or grooming and with a straightforward diet, reptiles are a low maintenance way for children to gain a sense of responsibility. As quiet creatures, you don’t need to worry about noise or finding your reptile chewing on a shoe - they are generally calm animals. Truly fascinating animals, reptiles exhibit captivating behaviours from basking to shedding and hunting, making it a great learning experience for your children. With a longer lifespan, you get to enjoy the companionship of your reptile for a longer period of time. Although reptiles don’t take much to look after, they do require specialized environments to survive, such as the correct humidity, temperature and lighting. They also have varying temperaments, often preferring not to be handled so they may not be the best choice for a cuddle!

Does a pet in childhood create a more successful adult?

Whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster or even a little lizard, one thing that is certain is whatever our childhood pet may be, we will always carry sweet memories of our cute companions.
However, is it possible that man’s best friend could actually be man’s biggest motivator?
A recent survey has suggested that having a pet in childhood goes beyond creating long lasting memories and a vague sense of responsibility, but actually has a profound effect on career success in adulthood. 77% of the highest earners in the UK have confidently attributed their career success to having a childhood pet. 
Instilling a sense of heightened empathy, communication skills, resilience and a growth mindset, having a pet as a child could make you better equipped to successfully climb the career ladder.
So, we explore the pressing question - does  having a pet as a child make you more likely to be a boss?

Can childhood pets make you a better manager?

A basic requirement in a workplace is to be able to communicate well enough to survive. However, those who excel in their careers all seem to share one key trait in common; being able to empathise in order to  communicate effectively.
Contrary to popular belief, the ability to connect with others exceptionally well is not an innate gift some are born with. 78% of Senior Managers and 70% of Directors in the UK attributed their conversational power to having a pet in childhood. Although your cat cannot verbally tell you ‘I’m hungry, the claws are coming out,’ pet owners effortlessly read the emotions and needs of their pets accurately, even as a child. Being able to pick up on non-verbal cues by interacting with pets in childhood helps adults to easily empathise with their colleagues, making them better equipped to connect and move up in the workplace.

However, while understanding non-verbal cues certainly helps you climb your way to the top, the ability to create and maintain long lasting connections seems to dip the higher you go. With Directors being the lowest category of adults who agreed they were able to make meaningful connections, perhaps it really is lonely at the top.

How does having a pet help with creating long lasting connections?

Although the ability to create long lasting connections seems to indicate people are more likely to stay in smaller towns for meaningful connection, the UK’s highest earners are based in populated and diverse cities, such as Manchester, London and Birmingham. It suggests that having a pet in childhood provides adults with the confidence to move out of their comfort zone and connect with others easily - a key trait if you want to get far in your career!
Additionally, having a pet in childhood allows you more room for shared interests with your caregivers, allowing you to bond over the additional furry friend who’s joined the family. Creating a special bonding experience as children and their parent/guardian teach their old dog new tricks, 73% of top earners in the UK agreed that having a pet in childhood helped strengthen their connection to their parents.

Do pets make you more resilient?

Having a pet is more than just cuddling your cat and playing games. Looking after another being comes with the inevitable emotional toll of your pets having serious illnesses, and the unfortunate day when they pass.
As well as experiencing loss and grief at a young age, children who experience the loss of a pet also learn how to comfort and be comforted, lending to an invaluable skill in adulthood. By having first hand experience of such difficulty, it allows senior professionals to empathise with their employees’ life events, fostering an empathetic and understanding workforce.
Instilling a strong understanding of overcoming challenges in childhood, this has a profound impact on adults being able to deal with setbacks with a forward moving mindset, with 84% of senior professionals and 75% of Directors confirming that dealing with loss and difficulty regarding their childhood pets contributed to their resilience in being able to overcome setbacks and challenges in their career.
Urging your children to take your dog for a walk instills a level of responsibility that stretches beyond just dog years with 68% of top earners in the UK agreeing that having a pet as a child directly influenced their attitude towards work. You can’t hit the snooze button on a cat sitting on your head in the morning, waiting for breakfast! So, adults who had no time to waste with the demands of a pet also carry this urgency forward into adulthood, cultivating the resilience and reliability needed for a robust work ethic.

Does your childhood pet make you a smarter adult?

Just like babies, it is impossible to turn your head away from your curious puppy for too long in fear that they will inevitably choke on something they should not have been playing with in the first place.
The panic stricken experience of figuring out whether it’s simply your cat’s usual hairball or something more serious, provides more than a slightly traumatic experience and a telling off from a parent. Having to keep a close eye on your pet as a child actually develops cognitive skills that are immensely useful at work, such as paying attention.
Additionally, trying to teach your dog that it is not okay to run outside when you open the door helps with long term functions such as reasoning, learning, thinking, logical thinking and remembering.
78% of top earners in the UK agreed that navigating the whirlwind of teaching and loving a pet as a child greatly aided in developing cognitive function. Additionally, those who agreed that pets helped improve their ability to learn live in thriving cities such as Nottingham, the hub for Financial Services and Life Sciences as a key industry; London, especially known for its success in Fintech and Bristol and Cardiff, who flourish in Energy, Creative, Business and Media industries.
In addition to developing key mental skills to thrive, 78% of the UK’s highest earners agreed that their childhood pet helped them develop traits that assisted in their careers.
Who knew that teaching your pet new tricks was also teaching you something?

Do pets create more well-rounded adults?

When listening to any successful adult in business and their career, the one mindset shift that is often emphasised as being the pinnacle to success is having a growth mindset.
A striking 86% of top earners in the UK confirmed that their childhood pet is responsible for them having more of an appreciation for life. Cultivating this appreciation is key in building a successful career as a growth mindset comes from viewing life through the lens of gratitude, allowing you to view losses as lessons that are necessary to move forward.
Having a pet as a child opens up a whole world of new experiences to enjoy with your pet, both in creating imaginary worlds and in taking part in activities specific to having a pet in your life. This exposure to new experiences and dynamics in the household has contributed to creating more well rounded adults, with 78% of top earners claiming their childhood pets are to thank for their adaptability and versatility. 
Successful adults who had pets as children also tend to live in cities that are not only more expensive and hubs for key flourishing industries, but are also known for being beautiful places to live with happier people, with 80% of  top earners living in Liverpool and others in Glasgow and Cardiff, as opposed to more congested cities such as London. It seems having a childhood pet enhances an appreciation for life that filters into areas of success besides just their careers.

Bottom line: bet on your pet

Understanding how having a pet as a child contributes to success in the future gives a whole new meaning to ‘Dogs are not just for Christmas.’
Having a childhood pet adds meaning to your life that stretches past fun times racing your dog in the park, or playing with your hamster. Although pets bring love and adventure into your home, it is an invaluable investment into future career success.
Your pet provides more than sweet nostalgia, but helps you become a more resilient and confident person as well as building the skills necessary for a successful career. Thank your childhood companion for your well-rounded personality and growth mindset.
If you want your child to be a boss, buy them a pet!