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Old 05-04-2012, 08:21 AM   #11
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

We are on a waiting list for a puppy, I'm hoping we can get her around Christmas, and she will be a Golden Doodle, part retriever and part poodle (the giant ones). So our future dog will be a HUGE dog! I looooove big dogs.

I'm thinking the rats sound lke a good idea!! How are they with younger children (my kids are only 3 and 5). Smell isn't a huge issue since our HS room is off a ways from the bedrooms. How often to clean the cages? I could do once a week easy... What do you need for them other than the cage, water and food dispensers, some toys? Wood shavings? What do they eat?

I really didn't want hampsters or gerbils or anything, too easy to get lost. We have a big house. I would like something small, but with a brain, you know? I would like something that would think of us as friends

I want chickens too but for now not possible, since we don't have a fence in our yard

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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We just have fish. Both my 3 year old and 8 year old enjoy them
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #13
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

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Originally Posted by RainandRedemption View Post
I'm thinking the rats sound lke a good idea!! How are they with younger children (my kids are only 3 and 5). Smell isn't a huge issue since our HS room is off a ways from the bedrooms. How often to clean the cages? I could do once a week easy... What do you need for them other than the cage, water and food dispensers, some toys? Wood shavings? What do they eat?
Just give them room and things to do. I'd recommend getting the biggest cage you can and at a minimum get a wheel for it. Keep everything solid surface instead of wire, because their tiny feet have a hard time on wire surfaces. Not sure what is available as far as toys go, but I'd get a few of those and switch them out like they do at the zoo to keep things interesting. Here's a list of fun games and toys http://www.dapper.com.au/toys.htm . They can eat commercial rat food and treats, and some people foods like veggies. Once a week should be fine unless you have a really messy rat Try to get bowls/water bottles that attach to the cage otherwise they will get tipped over often making a mess. You can use any small animal bedding for them. If you want to use wood shavings, check prices at nearby farm stores (something like Tractor Supply Store). You can get giant packs of wood shavings there for a fraction of the cost of buying them anywhere else. Rats will be fine with the kids as long as you make sure to keep them supervised to they don't get rough.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

Wow thank you pharmmama for the info and the link!! I've never thought of having rats before but they look and sound like so much fun!! I'll have to take the kiddos up to the pet shop this weekend and see if they have any rats there DS is going to flip out when I show him the pic of the rats pea fishing!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #15
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

So you can let rats roam free to an extent then? And they won't start hiding on you?

How are they with dogs?
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #16
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

When I first saw this I was going to mention rats or guinea pigs. I had guinea pigs in the past and they are a little more messy than rats but you can block off an area for them to run out of the cage without them escaping as easily as a rat. I took the time to litter box train my guinea pigs and they did pretty well. Another tip for either of these pets is to look for kiln dried pine for bedding, I used horse bedding in there cage as it is so much cheaper and just as good as what a regular pet store would sell.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #17
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

I wouldn't recommend fish. They require a lot of knowledge to keep them humanely and IME the kids have fun feeding them but overall they are ignored by kids your ages.

I also wouldn't recommend turtles or reptiles due to salmonella.

Rabbits are fantastic pets and I prefer them over Guinea pigs but another one that isn't great for kids, unless you get a giant rabbit breed and interact with it a lot.

And I'm sorry kitty lovers but I don't think cats are appropriate for kids. They are generally too aloof and not friendly/playful enough for kids. I'm not a believer in declawing but I would NEVER get a cat for kids without at least putting the little claw guards on their nails.

Puppies are the best, I got a Great Dane pup for my ds. GD's are perfect for kids, once they are taught to honor personal space (like any dog should be). Danes are lazy when you want them to be and playful and hilarious when you want them to be. They aren't afraid of kids and are pretty invincible to a kid doing normal kid things. I personally find that Goldens take a lot of training so make sure you get your puppy enrolled in training classes. Be prepared, it may take 2 or more classes before you have a well trained Goldendoodle. They aren't bad dogs and they are smart but they can be a little goofy in the begining stages of their lives IMO.

Guinea pigs are cool too but they need cage sizes that are a LOT bigger then what they sell at petsmart in order to be happy in life. I'm assuming rats are the same way, most cages at petsmart are way too small for the animals they advertise them for.

As for bedding (and speaking of someone who also has horses ) don't use wood shavings of any kind. They are incredibly dusty, and put off a lot of allergens into the air. Not good for small animals, or people's lungs, plus they make it hard to keep your house clean. I don't even use them for the horses for the same reasons. I simply use shredded paper. I bought a shredder at staples, the smallest one and just shred my mail as we go through the week. Then there is plenty for the weekly cage change. It's free (well after purchasing the shredder), no dust, less alergenic and more absorbent then wood shavings.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:37 PM   #18
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

We have dogs, they are not for the kids. We have fish in the toy room, they don't really care for them, I'm the one looking at them mostly. If we were to get a animal for them it would be a reptile. I'm not really keen on hamsters/mice/etc in cages, especially not with dogs. Plus they smell.
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