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  1. #1
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    Question A pet for my daughter...?

    Hello

    My daughter is passionate about animals. She wants to be a farmer later, she always always talks about animals and what they eat and why we don't have more animals etc etc. She is six, will be seven in October, and I am thinking of getting her a little pet (like guinea pig, mouse...) -- when I manage to convince her father. Now for a bit of context: I have got three children (6girl, 5boy, 2girl), we live in Canberra, small house with big backyard, we are in the process of getting chickens (we had chicks which we had to give away [boys] and now we have other eggs in the incubator which are going to hatch in ten days or so). But chickens are not pets, yes they are friendly, but you can't really cuddle them. So we have chickens because 1/ I wanted chickens (for eggs) and 2/ for the children to enjoy a bit of farm animals. But for the cuddly-side of animals, I think it would be good to nurture my elder girl's passion for animals. What do you think? If she was into Lego or drawing or maths, we would nurture that as well. So why not a pet? I feel like I am giving tools for all my children, things that they enjoy, but I am not giving anything for her toward that passion for animals. Another option would be to let her work with animals, if that could be, like being a volunteer at RSPCA or something like that. But she is too young for that, I guess, even with me she wouldn't really help them. But if you had other ideas like this, that would be great. Not especially buying an animal, but allowing her to see and work with animals on a regular basis (like some girls are going to a ballet class every wednesday afternoon, well she would go to a farm class). Otherwise, well... OK buying an animal, but then:
    - not too big if it is to be kept inside (our house is not too big for the five of us already) or hardy enough to be kept outside (but I would prefer it to be inside, more cuddly-options for my daughter)
    - which would be happy with us (so I know we would buy a huge cage and toys and blablah, and that's fine for me)
    - not from a pet store, which I found horrible, preferrably adopting one from RSPCA or something like that
    - which we would give to someone to look after one or two months per year (we go back to our home country once a year)
    - what kind of pets: guinea pig sounds good, but maybe a bit too big? plus I see they mostly like a large flat box, whereas I would prefer a tall multi-storey cage so it can fit in our house, so I was thinking maybe a chinchilla [they love climbing] but apparently it is not allowed in Australia... Not interested in animals which would be happier in the wild... Maybe just a mouse then?

    Any thought...?

  2. #2
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    Bunny?
    Cat?
    Small dog?

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to MrsMummaButterfly For This Useful Post:

    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

  4. #3
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    How about a miniature pig?? That way she has a kind of farm animal to help her with her farming passions, and a semi cuddly animal and one that's useful and eats the scraps that the chickens don't. And you can teach them to walk on leashes.

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using The Bub Hub mobile app

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

  6. #4
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    Honestly, I think most pets would be much happier NOT being handled by cuddly kids.

    I was one of those kids who loved to hold/pay/cuddle animals. I had budgies, guinea pigs, hopping mice, dogs and a cockatiel. My 11 year old sister in law is the same, and she has had cats, guinea pigs, a turtle, fish, budgies, a cockatiel, lizards and hermit crabs. The only one which never seemed stressed by the handling was the turtle.

    Maybe a rabbit? They're not as flighty as guinea pigs. Unless your kids have the self control to leave it alone when it doesn't want to be held though, it'll probably get stressed too.

    The only animal that seems to consistently enjoy human contact, even with kids, is dogs. Actually, chickens as a second :P

    With regard to miniature pigs mentioned by a PP - the smallest breed is a pot bellied pig, which can grow to anywhere from 20 to 90kg. Despite breeders saying so, they can NOT guarantee that a pig will stay small without essentially starving it.

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

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    What about a ferret? They make awesome little pets.

    I'd opt for a rat over a mouse as a pet. Rats are far friendlier, each have their own personality, will sit on your shoulder and let you carry them around. They are far less skittish compared to mice.

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

  10. #6
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    Thanks for your advices.

    So I forgot something obviously: we would loooove to have a dog, I would looooove to have a cat, really! but we won't have any, because we spend one or two months a year overseas and dogs/cats are too smart to be left with strangers for so long. I mean, they would survive, but they would be sad. I believe (but I may be wrong) that a smaller animal wouldn't really mind whoever is taking care of it.
    A bunny is a good idea, though it can be quite big and I guess we would need two so they are not too lonely?
    A mini-pig... Never heard of it! I just googled it, and it looks amazing. I love useful animals and my two daughters looooove pigs. Really. I always found it crazy, but it is like their favorite animal ever (some girls like unicorns and dolphins, mine like pigs - go figure!). I even made a pig cake for my little one's birthday. I will definitely look into it. I guess it would be a great animal.

    So that was in relation to LittleLadyBug and Jennaisme.

    Now if you tell me that a mini pig is not really mini, Renn... I am not sure it is a good idea any more. It needs a bit more thinking, I guess.

    As for ferrets: I love ferrets, but they are very fragile animals. There is no (and never will be) air-conditioning in my house, and they don't like heat. But I would sure love ferrets. My first pet love.
    As for a rat, I wouldn't mind, but my husband finds them horrible. Not sure he would allow that. We may have a chance at convincing him if we talk about rabbits.
    Last edited by Nanouk; 29-04-2014 at 13:17.

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    Agree with what Renn said about mini-pigs, there is no guarantee that mini pigs stay mini!
    Given that you are away 1-2 months a year, what about approaching a local reputable animal rescue to become a foster carer for the 10-11 months a year you are at home? There is no shortage of dogs and cats needing rescue and foster carers are always needed!

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014),Renn  (29-04-2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandamonium View Post
    Agree with what Renn said about mini-pigs, there is no guarantee that mini pigs stay mini!
    Given that you are away 1-2 months a year, what about approaching a local reputable animal rescue to become a foster carer for the 10-11 months a year you are at home? There is no shortage of dogs and cats needing rescue and foster carers are always needed!

    This sounds like a great idea! Obviously it depends on your family, Nanouk, but I have a couple of friends who do this. They mostly take on foster rabbits. It would give your daughter great opportunities to learn about caring for animals beyond the every day feed-and-water. Approached in the right way, it could also be a great opportunity for her to learn how to restrain what SHE may want to do, and focus instead on what the animal needs. Also the issue of attachment, letting animals go etc. which are valuable experiences.

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

  15. #9
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    We have always had pets so my dd (3yo) has always grown up with them.
    I agree with other posters in not getting something to cuddly as the pets just seem to get agitated by children's innocent "cuddles"
    We have 2 dogs, a cavalier King Charles and a teacup chihuahua.
    The cavalier is great with my daughter but will often run and hide from her, it's more work some days for me to keep telling her to leave the dog alone.
    The chihuahua on the other hand, she is 10, adores my daughter, the chihuahua sleeps on dd's bed and they go everywhere together, dd has never pushed any limits with her either.
    Dd will feed her, walk her (with me) and is genuinely interested in the care and work that goes into looking after her.
    We also have a cat, who is not impressed with dd in the slightest.
    We also have fish and a bird, which dd will feed and help me clean out etc.
    we just struck lucky I think with how dd has formed such a great relationship with the dog, it's taught her a lot.

    From reading your op I would say something like a bunny would be perfect.
    Other hand raised brids are also good, you can take them out, they enjoy a good scratch on the neck and really lap up attention, I think at 6 she would understand to be gentle, but younger children would need to be watched a bit more, if it all gets to out of hand and the bird is being smothered out of excitement on the kids behalf you can always put him back in the cage until it's a bit calmer

    ETA: I'm loving the idea of foster caring!
    Last edited by Liddybugs; 29-04-2014 at 13:39.

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    Nanouk  (29-04-2014)

  17. #10
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    Well, I can say that you all have so many great ideas...!
    I was quite happy with that: http://www.petrabbitworld.com/oz_rabbit_breeds.html
    But then foster animals, that would even be better. I am looking into it.


 

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