Pet for 5yo DD(7 Posts)
DD2 (5 years old) is a real animal lover. She sits and watches animal programmes and vet programmes, adores my parents dogs, makes me read endless animal books to her, "rescues" snails from out on the road and rehomes them in our garden.
She is really keen to have a pet. I have vetoed a cat or a dog for now (we are out of the house for 12 hours a day with work/childcare and I don't think it would be fair on them to be left that long, although at some stage if circumstances change I'd love us to have a cat).
I'm not much of an animal person, but DH is happy to do the bulk of the pet care.
We have two goldfish which both DDs are very good at remembering to feed and check on, and DH looks after the cleaning of the tank etc. I think DD would like something with a bit more personality.
What sort of pet would work for DD?
I have a feeling that by her teenage years she'll be adopting every stray in the area but while I have some control on the pet choice I'd like to exercise it -- --
(We'll obviously be doing plenty of research on proper care etc of whatever we choose)
Guineas pigs make great pets for children but you'd need two and they're hard work.
Tbh if you're out of the house 12 hrs a day I'd question whether getting any pets would be fair. All animals need interaction.
TBH I thing getting any pet for such a young child is a bad idea. They won't be able to handle a small pet safely and may end up being bitten.
Yes, good point Palomb I suppose I'd thought that a smaller animal might need a little less interaction (I had mice growing up and they only came out of the cage once a day).
Wolfiefan I suppose the pet would be a family pet and nominally DDs, and DD would be supervised in any interaction with it, and we always had animals growing up even at younger ages without problems. But you make a good point, so we'll have to think about it carefully.
Maybe sticking with fish at this stage may be a better idea.
Just to update - we've decided to stick with the fish for now. Although we were in a local pet shop buying fish food and chemicals for the tank when DD spotted their reptile section.
She has told me that when she is bigger she is getting some lizards and maybe a snake
I know you said you've decided to stick with fish for now but I would like to make a suggestion.
Guinea pigs are a really good first time pet, yes you do need two.
What they need:
A large hutch (under cover in a shed to stop the weather getting at them) and if you have the space a run that you can put inside the shed in winter so they can stretch their legs.
An outdoor run so they can express natural behaviours by grazing on grass in warm, dry weather
A balanced diet: complete food nuggets (not museli as they pick out their favourite bits and leave the rest); veggies such as carrot peelings, unwanted leaves off veg (cauliflower); hay to be offered year round but less will be needed in summer and obviously fresh clean water available at all times in a bottle NOT a bowl.
Best to maybe get a pair that need rehoming and are a little older that have been handled. The best way for younger children to handle them is for you to put them on their lap (in a safe space such as the living room) so they can stroke them, a piece of veg on their lap would probably keep them occupied too so they don't run around too much. When picking them up aim to grab under the ribs and not their soft belly as this can hurt them.
Hope this helps 😊
Chickens...they make great pets. They are super easy to keep, friendly, will chat to you for hours, amazingly funny and will keep your DD entertained for hours. Plus they provide free food
I have mine in a coop and run in the horses paddock but they don't need massive amounts of space, you just got to remember to make sure they are all in bed at night.
They love coming into the house for a chat and to see what treats they can steal. Chooks are totally underated
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