Pet for a 3 year old?

(7 Posts)
crackcrackcrak Mon 03-Sep-12 15:56:06

Hi all,
I would like to get a pet for dd. I really want a cat but about to have dd2 so thinking maybe I will wait a while with that.
We have narrowed it down to either a fish tank - expensive to set up but low maintenance (we would get some clownfish) or some rabbits - much more hands on for dd who is v gentle but wondering of I am making too much work for myself. I live in a big terraced house with a big backyard but no grass - would they be ok with a wire run outside? Can you get something artificial to go underneath? Plus we have a utility room do I could bring them in of it's cold etc.
The other option is rats - which I love and I think dd would be fascinated and maybe they would be easier than rabbits?

Sigh....Just not sure - any thoughts?

I have kept all the above pets in the past.

GobblersKnob Mon 03-Sep-12 16:04:37

I think for a three year old the idea pet is one that you really want yourself, as you are going to have to do all the work while the 3yo is going to do a bit of stroking/feeding grin.

Both rabbits and rats need a lot of supervised exercise a day and large cages with plenty of stimulation, so are both quite a big commitment, more than a cat I would say actually.

When ds was 5 and dd 2 I persuaded dp to allow them to get rats at pets (I had kept them before I met him) but really they were for me grin the kids adore them and the rats are unbelievably tolerant and patient with small hands, they are much easier to lift and handle than rabbits (which personally I don't think are good pets for little kids).

They do take up a lot of time though and I woudn't do it unless you have a good hour free a day that you can spend on them (feeding, exercise, spot cleaning) then an extra hour every 7-10 days to clean and rearrange their cage.

Guinea pigs are great! We got our 2 girls after our DD1 was born now she is almost 4 and loves coming with me to the garden every morning to feed them and put them out for exercise...
And they are so cuddly! Last night we had them in when my DN stayed and they fell asleep on her lap!

Massive vote for piggies here!!

EauRouge Tue 04-Sep-12 16:11:53

Fish are not low maintenance, especially marine fish. There's also a lot of water testing involved that you'll need chemicals for, and some of the chemicals are corrosive. To top that there are things you can catch from fish, my 3yo DD1 isn't allowed anywhere near my fish tank.

We have stick insects that DD1 gets involved with, she helps give them water every day, helps collect food for them and is allowed to hold them. Have you thought about inverts?

Floralnomad Tue 04-Sep-12 16:18:02

Unless your DC has shown an interest in fish you are prob better off going own the "fluffy" route . Personally I'd go for a pair of rats or a pair of indoor guinea pigs. We have had both and I do think rats are more interactive and it's quite unusual to find one that doesn't like people .

crackcrackcrak Tue 04-Sep-12 16:29:47

Eurouge - they have been suggested in the past but not my cup of tea sorry!

I thought that too initially about the fish that they would be too much work - you are probably right!

I think I will follow the wisdom here and go with rats of guinea pigs. Dm loves gp so might be more inclined to help me with them grin I love rats - local pet shop has lots of cheeky looking dumbos - I will let dd choose between the two - thanks all I can get excited now grin

CharlieMumma Sat 22-Sep-12 12:43:41

I would not recommend rabbits as they ate very difficult for a child to handle and have very sharp front claws. Guinea pigs or rats would be much better especially for a 3 year old.

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