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pets!!! dont know if this is right thread but want advice on which pets would be suitable as recently split from exp and dcs where never allowed pets!

(27 Posts)
missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 16:18:35

I have 3 dss 11,8 and 8 months and the older boys just loves animals. When my ex p was around he didnt like animals only dogs but only dogs that wouldnt be allowed in the house [humm]. I would like to get my dc a small pet as i think it would be great fun for them but also one that doesnt have to take alot of work looking after. I was thinking along the lines of a guinea pig or rabbit. Do any mns know which one would be more friendliest? and which one would my dc get more fun from.... please help im confused as never had a pet myself as a child and thats one of the reason i would like them to have one to cause i was always told no!

DidEinsteinsMum Sun 28-Jun-09 16:24:38

<runs in to shout>

Chickens

<Runs out again>

<Peeks round corner to whisper:but thats only cos i want some>
grin

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 28-Jun-09 16:25:45

Get a cat - it takes a lot less looking after than a guinea pig or a rabbit.

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 16:26:17

I dont have room for chickens and dont think dc would get much fun out of stroking chickens grin if they could catch them.

bamboobutton Sun 28-Jun-09 16:26:21

yeah, i second chickens! minimal effort and you get eggs.

Goblinchild Sun 28-Jun-09 16:26:29

Guinea pigs are friendly, talkative and don't dig or scratch. Unlike many rabbits of my acquaintance. smile

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 28-Jun-09 16:26:34

This is the extent of our looking after our cats:

7 am - feed
7 pm - feed

Easy, no?

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 16:27:45

to be honest i dont really like cats, I know that sounds terrible and im sorry to any cat lovers out there but i just dont like them

DidEinsteinsMum Sun 28-Jun-09 16:28:17

What no litter tray and no 'presents'?

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 28-Jun-09 16:28:49

But they are very, very affectionate creatures and your dss will love it/them - and I thought it was about them not you? grin

Goblinchild Sun 28-Jun-09 16:30:54

We have a cat that we love.
But you have to add the medical bills, the fur on the carpet, the occasional scratching of doors and carpets, the deflea-ing and worming, the occasional dismembered present...
We also have a couple of guinea pigs that share a hutch and have an outside run. Cheap, cuddly and placid.

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 16:31:43

goblinchild i was swaying more towards a guinea pig but my exp get his word in and said they belong to the rodent family and i would never have 1 about me but he isnt here now so he doesnt have to worry all i want is the dss to have a little pet to look after and who is friendly and they get the opportunity to be able to look after it and clean and feed it. Think it teaches them self management and independence. but am i wise with a 8 month old baby, sometimes i feel i have enough on my plate looking after 3 boys on my own! lol

weegiemum Sun 28-Jun-09 16:32:09

I second Guinea Pigs. They are lovely!

Joolyjoolyjoo Sun 28-Jun-09 16:32:40

Guinea pigs are great pets for kids- cute, cuddly and cheap to run (no vaccinations etc)

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 16:35:47

How much would a hut and all the basic necessities cost to get one? Can they be kept outside, what about cats or rats around them would they be safe (sorry easily know that i have never had a pet) shock

BCNS Sun 28-Jun-09 16:37:26

Well I was going to say chickens, because you can train them to come over to you and they are quite happy being cuddled and stroked etc.. and you get eggs.

but I see you don't have room for them..

leapard spotted geckos are supposedly not too much work and quite a fun pet to have.. my ds's keep nagging me for one.. because you can see right through their heads ( we already have my fill of pets though )

but guinea pigs are lovely

modrin Sun 28-Jun-09 16:41:12

i would choose cat you can have great fn with a cat and to be honest they have more of a life than a guinea pig

FigmentOfYourImagination Sun 28-Jun-09 16:45:01

I would go with guinea pigs, they are very placid calm creatures. DD (6) has 2 females who live in her bedroom. Ours are indoor piggies but they do go out in a run in the garden on nice days.

They do need to be cleaned out every 2/3 days and ideally need daily handling/interaction as they can be shy and nervous. Guineas rarely bite and so you shouldn't get the nips that you would from a hamster or gerbil when you are taming them. Guineas need to have a good sized cage or hutch, please don't buy a pokey one, even if it says 'suitable for guinea pigs' on it. Proper sized guinea homes can be expensive and large so you need to take that into consideration.

Indoor piggies are generally tamer than outdoor, just because they have more regular human interaction. I would advise against getting long haired pigs if you are a first timer as they take a lot of grooming.

Also please buy a pair of pigs as they get very lonely if kept singly.

In short I would advise you getting a pair of smooth coated/short haired females (pairs of males can often fight females do not tend to).

The lifespan of a guinea is 5-9 years (indoor ones tend to live longer because they are not exposed to the extremes of temperature that those kept outdoors are), so take that into consideration also.

If you do decide to get a pair of piggies then do get a good guinea pig care book too, it gives you alsorts of helpful tips.

Guineas can be trained to do 'tricks' but are also equally happy being snuggled up on your lap watching tv.

This is the set up I have for my pigs...

Cage. Ours is on the stand shown to keep it off the floor (away from draughts and vibrations). I took the yellow hide platform out of mine as it kept collapsing if one of the pigs stood on the top of it.

Houses. Ours have one each so they can get a bit of peace if the other one is being annoying! These replaced the yellow hide/platform.

Hay manger The cage came with a yellow one which fitted to the ouisde of the cage but it made a mess of the carpet around the cage so I bought this ball which can be hung from the roof of the cage and the mess is greatly reduced.

Outdoor run

This is a helpful PDF helpsheet on guinea pigs

FigmentOfYourImagination Sun 28-Jun-09 16:45:41

I also have 2 cats which are equally fab smile

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 28-Jun-09 16:47:11

Message withdrawn

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 17:34:42

Im just gonna go look at a hutch tonight that was on gumtree and im gonna go for two wee guinea pigs tomorrow. The boys will be over the moon!!!

missylea Sun 28-Jun-09 21:31:50

my friend just told me that guinea pigs cant really be left outside especially in the winter and i dont have a garage and dont really wanna keep them in the house

MimieD Sun 28-Jun-09 21:53:05

why don't you want them in the house? As long as you keep the cage clean, they do not smell at all.

FigmentOfYourImagination Sun 28-Jun-09 21:53:13

they can be kept outside but during the winter or cold spells they need to have extra bedding to snuggle into and you have to make sure that they are sufficiently protected from strong cold winds and rain (you can get covers for hutches which will keep the worst of the bad weather out). You can't leave the covers on all the time though as they reduce ventilation in the hutch because the grille on the front is covered.

FigmentOfYourImagination Sun 28-Jun-09 21:55:16

I chose to have indoor pigs because I wanted them to have daily human contact and I knew that the novelty would wear off if the weather was dodgy cold/wet/snowy/windy and they'd probably end up pretty neglected. That's not to say that I think all outdoor piggies are neglected but it would be a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' in our house.

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