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Old 05-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
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What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

We want to get a puppy... but I'm thinking about getting a pet for the kids to keep in our homeschooling room. Originally I was thinking a fish, but I'd like something they could hold and play with a little. Not too keen on bunnies, after the one I had briefly turned VERY mean. Maybe a lizard, or a hamster type of animal?

Suggestions? What do you all have that your smaller kids can enjoy? (Mine are 3 and 5)

tia!

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Old 05-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

Hamsters are stinky, lol. We are thinking about getting a hermit crab. We already have a cat and dog
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

Hamsters can be up all night... I would stay away from those...

I think the fish would be the least work.

A roommate of mine had a turtle and it was stinky and required constant cleaning.

I think it depends on your motivations on getting a pet. I can say that when we got our 2 cats, we weren't thinking it all the way through, and it is hard to make a decision to rehome an adult pet (we haven't yet, but it had been on my mind for a long time, since taking care of them was stressing me out).
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

I think a fish would be perfect for any house with kids less than 5. Not as much fun as something small and furry, but much safer for both kids and pets. Reptiles are prime carriers for salmonella and can make kids sick. Kids under 5 have too hard a time with being gentle and understanding instructions about how to handle animals and it would be too easy for a hamster to get hurt or bite if frightened. And actually, I'd consider getting a rat instead unless you're just too squeamish. They're a lot smarter, can be very affectionate, and you can even use them for simple lessons at home when you're schooling. The kids can build their own maze and learn about how we learn!

Seriously, for the ages you have either stick with fish (maybe get a salamander in the tank for extra fun), consider a puppy/kitten (and also all the time they take that's going to be your job), or if you HAVE to get a small animal right now I'd vote for turtle. They are very hardy, can't be squished, and as long as you are quick with the hand sanitizer/washing and supervise to make sure fingers don't go in the mouth then salmonella risk is minimized.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

We have a gerbil, cat, and 2 hermit crabs. The kids handle all three all the time. Nothing smells because the older scoop the litter box daily and clean the gerbil cage once a week.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

I have dogs, three of them. The big one in my avi was supposed to be my dog but he is all Tharen's. The world exists in Tharen as far as he is concerned and has since the day we adopted him when he was 1year old (Tharen was 18months old at the time). We also have two small dogs and one of those is Kearnan's, the other belongs to dh and I'm not too keen on her to be honest. I would love a snake or a rat for the boys for the home schooling classroom if we had the room. I have had all manner of small pets over the years from mice to sugar gliders and to be honest of rodents Rats make the best pets. Sugar Gliders are awesome but they are a huge commitment (harder to take care of, more room and they smell but man they are cute). Rats are easy to care for, super smart, and pretty forgiving of handling, plus you can teach them tricks. Our local Renn Fair even has a group that puts on a show with trained rats. They are neat pets. They do smell a bit more than Gerbils (which were my first small pets) but less than mice or hamsters in my experience. They require a nice sized cage but nothing too extravagant. I like to have two sisters or two brothers so they don't get lonely. Handle them a lot from the time they are young and they will be very friendly. My boys walked on small leashes. Gerbils also make nice pets because they don't smell too bad, require less frequent cage cleaning and are less likely to bite but they are also faster moving and less tolerant of rough handling because of their smaller size. I had my first gerbil at 12 I believe. He was great. Gerbils are awake more of the day than some of their rodent counter parts but they don't do as many tricks as rats. Again they do smell slightly better. I personally would love to have a snake but dh isn't into it. My SIL was giving away her ball python and I was hoping we could bring him home but dh just wouldn't go for it. I think they are really great but only for the right person. A small lizard like a leopard gecko might also be nice.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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LOL I'm not sure this is what you are asking but we got an English Mastiff when we knew that we were going to have kids during our next pets lifetime. As we knew how great Giant breed dogs are with kids (FYI he is her other mother he ADORES her and see's DD as HIS two legged puppy, the only problem we had was he was (and still is) a bit overprotective of DD. But we're ok with that most of the time)
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #8
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

I have a poodle and a cat. I never intended to have a child in the dog's lifetime but he is wonderful around the baby. If I were you I would consider a rat for a pet. They are so affectionate, smart, and just really sweet. Rats are way better than hamsters. They need their cages cleaned very regularly though and need the cage, food, bedding, supplies, etc. that all add up to being one expensive rodent.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:41 AM   #9
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

def not a bunny! rabbits don't make the best pets for young kids. We have chickens and they are the best pets ever! they are outdoors which is a plus! they are easy and cheap to care for and they let my kids (2 and 3.5) hold them. We are thinking of getting a cat. I'm not really a dog person because they require too much work and with 2 kids, I'm burnt out already
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Re: What kinds of pet(s) do you have, if you wanted the pet FOR your lo?

oh and yes to the rat. We had 5 of them before we had kids and they really are smart and if you handle them they are very loveable
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