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Old 09-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Well another update (a little late). Sadly, the 2nd meeting with Hannah did not go well at all. The first was great. She was great with the kids and seemed like the perfect addition to our family. Then at our second meeting with DH there she was like a completely different dog. Was very aggressive and actually broke off her leash and attacked a small dog. We were very sad, but felt it was best for our family to not go through with the adoption. We decided a few days later to get a puppy when we felt the time was right. We weren't sure when that would be, but decided to just wait and see. Well, I was looking on Craigslist over the weekend, as I had been doing every few days. I saw some cocker spaniel puppies that were adorable! DH and I did some research and after much discussion, decided to meet them. We met them and fell in love!! We brought Charlie home Monday night. It's only been a few days, but he has been great!! He's 10 weeks old and such a sweetheart. Of course, we're working on potty training and its not nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. He seems to be catching on quickly. So thank you all for your advice and well wishes!!


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You all were so helpful with all your advice and first hand experience with various pets! I wanted to come back in and give you a little bit of an update. We have not gotten a pet yet, but are getting a bit closer. The idea of adopting a dog has actually grown on me in the past 2ish months.

We are currently working with the Vegas Shepherd Rescue to find a good fit for our family. We are meeting Hannah, a 5 year old German Shepherd this week. Per the volunteers at the rescue, she loves all people (big and small). She currently lives with a foster family that has children. They are a bit older than mine, so we will need to see how she is with our kiddos. They call her their "gentle giant". She is close to one of the largest GSD they've had in the rescue program, and most definitely the largest female. They say she is very loving, very well trained and walks wonderfully on a leash. The kids and I are going to to meet her and the foster family she is living with in the next couple of days. If that meeting goes well, then DH will meet her on Saturday when he is in town. We could possibly be bringing home a dog this weekend and I'm really excited! I'm trying not to get too attached to her pictures and videos they posted in case it doesn't work out, but it's hard! I think she's beautiful and there's just something about her eyes that is almost soothing. (Probably sounds really weird, I know!) I attached a picture of her!


Hello! We are trying to decide on what kind of pet to get. We will be moving out of our apartment into our newly built home in about a month and we're wanting to add a new (furry or not) family member!

We have a 3.5 and 2 year old so it must be one that would be good with them. They will not be expected to do any of the "chores" associated with pets but would be encouraged to help myself or DH. The pet and kiddos would be under constant supervision when playing but I still want something I don't have to worry about biting them or getting hurt by the kids. We would like something that you can love on and that is playful.

OH and no dogs or frogs! lol I am not a dog person at all and I'm terrified of frogs!!! I'm ok with a cat, but would prefer one of the low allergen breeds.

Soo... what are some pets that you've had and really liked?
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

I love love love ferrets. They're a little stinky and a huge amount of cute

but a cat would be better for cuddles. I'd really like one of those naked cat
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

We have rats and are very fond of them. I always had male rats when I was a teen, the boys have female rats. I must say while the girls don't smell quite as much they are far more active and into everything. I think I prefer the boys. My male rats were very smart, well behaved and happy to hang out on my shoulder and learn tricks. Kearnan decided he wanted rats after seeing "the rat show" at Scarborough Fair this year. It is a circus style performance featuring a very nice woman and her pet rats. It is actually really funny and her rats are well trained and let the kids all pet them afterwards. Are girls are no where near that calm. The boys have a great time with them and being 7 and 12 can take care of most of the chores themselves (I supervise cage cleaning, mostly just babysit the rats while they clean).


this is Captain Jack Sparrow (don't ask, Tharen named her, she's his rat, we call her Sparrow).


This is Calypso, Kearnan's rat

I don't have an pictures of Miss Elizabeth Swan (yes they have a Pirates of the Caribbean theme, we call her Miss Elizabeth). She took a long time to get comfortable with everyone when she moved in. She's doing way better now.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

I've kept lots of pets before. Honestly, the only one I would recommend would be a dog for that age. At that age the kids can hurt any small animal fairly easy or get bit if they are a little too rough.

I would most definitely NOT recommend a cat. They are usually not kid friendly and don't like to be chased around, which kids at that age do. They also like to scratch to protect themselves and they usually scratch towards the face. I also think it's inhumane to declaw so at least if it was our family cats would be OUT!!!

Fish are good for that age, but they can't be played with. :/

You'll probably have people recommend rats but IME they like to bite and little kids like to squeeze. You also need to be extra careful about supervision since rats are fast and can get away from a kid easy. Then you have a loose rat in your house. The only place I ever could let my little ones play with the rat was if the kid was in an empty bathtub with the rat. Which meant they got bored super fast. It also was scary for me trying to prevent the child from accidentally squeezing or hurting the rat.

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Old 09-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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You pretty much described a dog and then said no dogs, lol. I think a ferret is a good alternative, they can be bitey but I guess so can anything.

Ime, even the friendliest cats do not tolerate the kind of play toddlers want to give and a cat bite can be a lot worse than a dog bite. My cat is a social butterfly but the thing is that its always on HIS terms. He wants cuddles when he does and just forget it if you want love during his afternoon nap (from 10am to 4pm btw lol).

There is a lot of variety in the different breeds of dogs, are you suuuurre none of them will do?
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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You pretty much described a dog and then said no dogs, lol.
I MAY consider adopting an older dog that is house broken and that has calmed down a little. But, that's a pretty big MAYBE! lol I am definitely not an experienced dog owner. Do older adopted dogs do well with children? What are some good breeds for kids?

A friend of mine growing up had a ferret and all I remember is that thing stinking to high heaven! Are they normally that stinky? Is there anything you can do to make them less stinky?

We have considered rats. DH had 2 as a kid and LOVED them. I am also worried about the kiddos squishing them. I've read that they need free roam and human contact/love everyday. It's ok to let them roam about? They're easy to catch and get back in their cage?

Another pet we've considered is a bearded dragon. I know not really cuddly, but I've read that they have cute personalities and are good pets for little kids. Any advice on those?

Sorry for all the questions! You ladies are awesome! I'm a total pet newb. I grew up in a pet free home and we've only had one cat before kids. We loved our cat dearly, but he got out the back door and never made it home.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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A friend of mine growing up had a ferret and all I remember is that thing stinking to high heaven! Are they normally that stinky? Is there anything you can do to make them less stinky?

Another pet we've considered is a bearded dragon. I know not really cuddly, but I've read that they have cute personalities and are good pets for little kids. Any advice on those?
Ferets are a little musty, themselves, but their pee is super stinky. If you cage them all day and don't change thier bedding they can be intolerable. The only way I've seen them not stink, my friends had some of that plastic carpet protector padding (flat plastic on top, little pokey things to stick in the carpet on bottom) and they put that in every corner of the house. (Ferrets always go in corners to excrete). The ferrets went on that plastic, super easy to clean and the stink was very minimal. Best ferret idea ever.

My Ferret's name was slinky, by the way

My son's friend has a bearded dragon and it's great! He takes it to the park and it clings to his shoulder while he skateboards. He can pass it around and it's friendly enough with the kids. They need to be fed properly though, not just lettuce so make sure you learn proper care. And expect it to get big. You buy them fairly small but they live for a long time when properly cared for. When fully grown they get big enough to need a 30-50 gallon tank.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

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You pretty much described a dog and then said no dogs, lol.
This! lol

We found a great dog on Craigslist. She is some kind of mix and has been fantastic with our kids. I wouldn't get a really little dog, they can be nippy and yippy. Ours is about 30 lbs and the perfect size, IMO. I can't recommend a breed but someone else surely can.

I would NOT get a cat with little kids. Too unpredictable.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

We have cats. 1 of them is SUPER friendly. He was hand raised from birth...he's amazing with kids, but he's a major behavior pain!

2 of my others tolerate them well and the last one just hates everyone but me.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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Re: Help me decide on a pet!

The thing is that your kids are very young. There is no pet outside of a dog or cat that is going to be really ideal for a child that young. Small pets can be easily hurt (and will bite to protect themselves). Reptiles may bite and can carry salmonella. Fish don't play. Ferrets can bite and yes they do smell. I grew up with cats and always liked them until recently. The older I get the worse my quirks get and I can't tolerate living in a place with cat litter now. You need a special cat to live with toddlers but there are plenty of good ones out there. You also need to make your child cat friendly. Really dogs are usually the choice for families with kids because dogs typically fit as being the most kid friendly. There are some breeds that are less so but in general it is easy to find a breed that will fit most families.

As to your rat questions. Yes they need handled daily or they will become wild. A trained rat can run loose and still return to you and you can litter train them (still working on that). They are not ideal for handling by small children as they can be easily injured (they aren't big so squeezing is an issue). They need stimulation or they chew, actually they also need things to chew. The boys get their ratties out for quite a while every day and they return when called. I had boys that walked on leash, did tricks ect. My rat Anubis was a lot like having a dog. But they really are better for slightly older (think 6+) children.

Older dogs make fine additions to the family. I have done rescue most of my life and adopted dogs at varying ages. We adopted a great dane at 7 and she was a wonderful companion for my oldest son until her passing. Our AB was 1 when we adopted him and I do not believe we could have chosen a better dog. I have had many wonderful dogs in my life, but for a best friend for my children he is absolutely perfect. He will leave big pawprints to fill when his time comes. We have 4 dogs and all are child friendly. I am a dog person but it is absolutely possible to manage a dog without much dog experience.
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