Skip to Content

The 12 Best Family Pets: Find Your Perfect Match

Are you considering adding a new pet to the family but not sure what the best match for you is? If so, you are in the right place as we want to share the top 12 best family pets to help you decide!

Remember, choosing a new animal companion for your family involves taking into consideration your schedule, activity level, budget, and living arrangements.

It is a lot to consider and the decision-making process can be overwhelming! However, here is the good news.

There are tons of choices for whatever your lifestyle and preferences are. We aim to help you figure out and narrow down the best match for your household.

Just keep in mind the entire family should be on board with the final decision.

Here are a few choices of animals that make excellent family pets.

The 12 Best Family Pets: Find Your Perfect Match


There is nothing like the bond between dogs and humans.

Dogs of all breeds, with proper training, can be loving and gentle companions for people of all ages.

They are extremely loyal to their owners, too.

The greatest challenge here is that dogs can be high-maintenance pets.

Caring for dogs is like caring for a toddler.

Prepare yourself for all the excessive barking, biting, and other behavioral issues you may encounter along the way.

Also, be prepared as daily walks will be in order for a new dog. It’s part of dog parenthood!

Closeup of smiling woman's face and beautiful Golden Retriever

Dogs Come in All Sizes, Temperaments, and Energy Levels

When selecting a family dog, it is important to consider the size of the dog as well as your family’s lifestyle and energy level.

German Shepherds make great family pets as would a Golden Retriever or Labrador to name a few.

However, it is also important to note that both purebred and mutt dogs can make great family pets, so don’t discount a mutt just because it isn’t purebred.

There is also the option of toy breeds such as Poodles and then there are, of course, medium-sized dogs such as Beagles. Beagles are a favorite and make wonderful family dogs because of their sweet nature!

A good family dog should have an agreeable temperament that is suitable for your family.

Dogs with calmer personalities are more likely to form strong bonds with children and be great companions.

In addition to temperament, other factors such as exercise needs, grooming requirements, and health concerns should be taken into consideration when choosing a good family dog.

Exercise needs vary from breed to breed, so it is important to research the specific breed you are considering in order to ensure that their exercise requirements match your lifestyle.

Grooming requirements should also be considered; some breeds require more frequent grooming than others.

Lastly, health concerns should be researched in order to ensure that the breed you choose does not have any known genetic issues or illnesses that could affect its lifespan or quality of life.

Beautiful gray cat and little girl on a bed.


There are different cat breeds in all shapes and sizes, so there is sure to be one that fits your family’s lifestyle especially if you have a small apartment or limited space.

They are independent, low-maintenance, and can be loving companions.

Cats can also provide a great source of entertainment for children as they love to play and explore their environment.

Unlike dogs that require constant attention, cats can be left by themselves for quite a while and may fit active families better than a dog.

You can head to the nearest supermarket and leave them at home, or spend hours outdoors gardening.

They wouldn’t really care, as long as they are comfortable, with an adequate supply of food and water.

Cats are not prone to separation anxiety and love spending time by themselves.

Cats are also low-maintenance pets.

They don’t need to be walked or taken out for a run.

All they need is a litter box, food, and water. Plus, cats are very clean animals and groom themselves regularly.

Cats make great family pets because they can be socialized with other animals and people.

Hamster leaning out of his cage


Hamsters are the most common first pets given to children, but they are not just for kids.

Today, more and more adults are getting interested in caring for these cute little animals.

Whether you are getting a hamster for younger or older kids, remember that these are very sensitive animals that require delicate handling.

Some hamster breeds are very sociable and playful, while others prefer to live a quiet life alone.

Choose the breed that best matches your personality and preferences.

Tri-colored Guinea pig

Guinea Pigs

Just like hamsters, guinea pigs are often chosen by parents as the first pets for their children.

But they’re even better than hamsters! They are fluffier and bigger.

All types of guinea pigs are playful.

The only requirement many first-time owners tend to miss is a spacious enclosure.

Guinea pigs love running around, so it should be big enough for them.

Guinea pigs make wonderful family pets.

They are social and friendly animals that love to interact with people.

They are also very easy to care for, as they require minimal grooming and feeding.

Woman holding a white dwarf rabbit


Want a pet bigger than hamsters and guinea pigs but smaller than a cat?

Try researching rabbits.

Rabbits are highly intelligent animals, and they can be trained to use the litter box, too.

It’s not a great idea to leave them inside their cages the entire day, though.

Both outdoor and house rabbits love to socialize.

Playtime is essential for these little ones’ happiness and contentment.

Rabbits are one of the most popular pets for families with children.

They are gentle, social animals that can be easily trained.

Rabbits need a lot of space to roam around and play, so make sure you have enough room in your home before getting one.

Additionally, they require regular grooming and vet check-ups.

A woman and boy with a hedgehog


Although hedgehogs are definitely not cuddly pets, they are one of the most unique, in-demand pets around.

They may be small, but they are not low-maintenance animals.

They require more care and are prone to more health issues than other small pets.

In addition, they require a different diet.

As omnivores, they need to eat special food that contains the right amount of protein and vegetables.

Before getting a hedgehog as a pet, make sure you have done your research and are prepared to provide them with the best care possible.

They need a large enclosure with plenty of hiding spots, as well as regular vet check-ups.

Additionally, they should be handled carefully and gently.

A small pot-belly pig with an orange bowl

Pot-Bellied Pigs

Pigs are the most unlikely addition to this list but yes, it’s true.

They make amazing family pets!

Contrary to what most people believe, pigs are super clean animals – even cleaner than dogs and cats.

Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are the most popular pet type due to their smaller size and tough skin, which resists parasites and fleas.

Pot-bellied pigs are intelligent, social animals that can be trained to do tricks.

They are also very affectionate and loyal to their owners.

However, they require a lot of space and attention, so make sure you have the time and energy to take care of them before getting one.

A little boy with a parrot


Birds are not only pretty and colorful to look at, but they can also bring comfort into homes through their sweet melodies.

They may be the best companion for a home with small kids or senior family members.

There’s no need to physically touch them.

Just watching them from afar can help you feel happy and relaxed!

The thing is, training a bird takes patience and lots of time. Prepare for that challenge.

Parrots are the most popular type of pet bird. They can be trained to talk, which may be a fun activity for the whole family.

Parrots are also very intelligent and social animals that require lots of attention.

They need to be handled with care and patience, as they can become aggressive if not properly trained.

In addition to parrots, there are other choices of pet birds such as parakeets, finches, cockatiels, cockatoos, canaries, lovebirds, and more.

Woman holding hands up to Ferret to come out of red cage


Ferrets are small, playful animals that make great family pets.

They are very active and curious, so they need plenty of space to explore and play.

Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box, which makes them easier to take care of. However, they require regular grooming and vet check-ups.

They also need to be handled with care, as they can become aggressive if not properly trained.

Additionally, ferrets are prone to certain health issues, so make sure you have done your research before getting one.

A person's hand with a Tortoise


Tortoises are quiet and easy to care for, and clearly one of the most low-maintenance pets for children.

The number one thing you need to consider is their food.

These animals have voracious appetites, requiring their owners to have a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tortoises need a lot of space, too.

Before getting your tortoise, see to it that an outdoor pen is ready.

Closeup of bearded dragon

Bearded Dragon

Have you ever thought of caring for a reptile? You may want to consider a bearded dragon.

These little reptiles may look fierce, but they are gentle and docile creatures.

They are spiky, adorable lizards that can develop a strong bond with their owners.

Believe it or not, many bearded dragons enjoy playing and being held.

“Beardies,” as they’re called, can be the perfect first reptile pet.

Little girl looking at goldfish in a bowl


Fish are one of the best low-maintenance pets for families.

They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them perfect for any home.

Fish require minimal care and attention, but they still need to be fed regularly and their tanks need to be cleaned periodically.

Fish can also provide a calming atmosphere in the home.

Watching them swim around can help reduce stress levels.


As you can see, there are many choices and options out there for every type of lifestyle and preference.

From cuddly dogs and cats to prickly hedgehogs or stress-reducing fish and birds, each pet has its own unique characteristics and needs.

No matter what type of pet you choose, make sure to do your research and provide them with the best care possible.

With proper care and attention, any of the best family pets listed can make wonderful additions to your family.

Love these woofs?

Help spread our waggie tales. You're pawesome for doing it!