People should not get a pet just for a child, as the novelty of the animal can quickly wear off, an expert has said.
Blue Cross editor Natasha Kleanthous said that despite promises that they will feed the animal pet food and clean up after it, they may well get bored of these chores after a while.
She wrote: "We all know that kids get bored of their favourite toy after a while and pets aren't all that different.
"So it's important that if you get a pet, it's for the whole family and that everyone wants to be involved in their care."
When picking a pet, Ms Kleanthous explained it is important to choose one that will fit into the family's lifestyle.
She said that rats are confident, fun and friendly, so can make great pets for kids, while rabbits are very sensitive so are not always suited to children.