If on could talk to the animals, they'd tell you when a child is old enough to care for a pet. Any chimpanzee would agree, too young are kids under three. The buzz in the beehive is that age 3 to 5 is a good time to bring home that first new buddy. A small caged pet, like a hamster, or guinea pig for starters. Responsibility & empathy can be taught at any age, and with a parent's supervision , the first family pet can be a loving learning experience that keeps giving.