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?