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  1. #11
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    I grew up with pets (cats and a dog) and I think pets are great for kids most of the time.
    I think pets can have great benefit for mental health and emotional wellbeing. I think they can help teach kids kindness and empathy.
    But I think it's really important that parents teach kids about responsible pet ownership - feeding, exercising, grooming, vet care, love and attention.
    And also that pets are part of the family. They're not toys to be discarded, and replaced with newer, cuter pets.
    Recently we lost our dog in an accident. I did a lot of reading about how to explain his death to our toddler. And what was interesting is that the loss of a pet is one of the earliest experiences of loss and grief a lot of kids have. Not wanting to be morbid, but it was an opportunity for us to talk about grieving - puppy died. It's very sad. It's ok for you to be sad too. So whilst sad, it was an educational opportunity for us too.

    I remember seeing a TV segment with Dr Harry a while ago. He did not recommend a dog or cat for kids aged under 5. Mainly because of the risk to the pet from being squeezed too hard but also because under that age they might not be able to tell the dog or cat No! And they might end up afraid of animals if they're knocked over by a large animal.
    He said guinea pigs were great from about 3yo onwards and before that a fish or a bird - something kids couldn't hold.

    I've had my cat since long before DS was born. We had to teach him "gentle" and he learned that well. He's never been too rough with her and she's never bitten or scratched him. I never leave them alone together though. For both their safety!
    I think having pets can be risky (for pet and children) but I also think with proper care, the benefits outweigh the risks.
    I wouldn't leave DS alone with any dog - no matter how friendly or what it's history is.

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    I think it's generally good. However, I will also add that my poor dog was pretty much completely ignored (by me) when DD came along. I really couldn't cope with a newborn by myself and a puppy so poor puppy missed out on walks / pats / attention and mainly just got yelled at for barking and waking the baby. Newborn + puppy = bad idea! (Unless you have a partner and/or other kids around to give the dog attention).

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    I think it depends on the family and the children.
    I grew up with cats and dogs and I am not an animal person at all. I don't get the attachment and to be truthful find them a nuisance.
    We have found a new home for our dog because our DD was petrified of it, she doesn't like animals apart from our bird and fighting fish.

  4. #14
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    Ds loves our cats, and even at 2 he learnt how to be gentle with them. He sometimes helps to feed them too.

    I didn't really have pets as a kid with the exception of having pet mice as a teen. I would have loved a pet cat as a kid but my parents didn't want to look after it. A dog would have been great as I would have gotten out more. My parents were quite sedentary even when I was little. I'd like to get a dog once we have our own place.
    Last edited by AdornedWithCats; 03-01-2017 at 12:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolns mummy View Post
    I think it depends on the family and the children.
    I grew up with cats and dogs and I am not an animal person at all. I don't get the attachment and to be truthful find them a nuisance.
    We have found a new home for our dog because our DD was petrified of it, she doesn't like animals apart from our bird and fighting fish.
    My oldest is so not in to our dog, and I always hear that they are never having pets when they move out of home. When they were younger they took part of the responsibility, just to gain an understanding of the level of responsibility, but as they are older and have made it very clear they have no interest at all they don't have to. Lesson learned basically!
    Also, you still have pets...bird and fish are pets. I would never own a bird, I don't enjoy them and don't want the responsibility of one, but I do believe that a bird will give a child valuable lessons in pet ownership. It's not just dogs and cats that teach those leasons.

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    Just wanted to add...I'm not a fan of small pets these days. I like pets who become a member of the family - I've had mice, birds, rats and fish but they aren't able to participate in family life like a dog or cat can. I would like to get chickens one day though.

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    I think it really depends if you are pet people. I don't think you *need* pets if it will not fit into your lifestyle as well.

    I like your idea of a pet licence. I think people need to be aware of what having their particular pet will require etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Full House View Post
    Lets keep this nice. What are your thoughts on kids growing up with pets? There seems to be two trains of thought on pets...one that says kids should grow up with pets as it is good for their immune system and teaches them responsibility....the other train of thought is that it's too risky.
    Where do you sit?
    Out of the two options here I would say I sit with neither! I did not consider pets being good for the immune system (are they?) and I don't understand the notion of pets being risky (apart from dogs possibly)?
    So I'm in the camp of pets being a generally positive influence in children's lives and that can be any pet from a budgie, goldfish, pony, cat, dog etc. I think they provide a great opportunity for companionship and friendship. I would never get a pet to teach my child 'responsibility' though. It may be a by-product of owning a pet but in general the decision and responsibility of getting and keeping a pet is the adults overall in my view. I'm not saying kids shouldn't help and look after the animal especially if they have specifically asked for it but the ultimate decision making and financial responsibility lies with the parent and I can teach my child responsibility in many other ways.

    For me we had pets before dd was born - 2 cats, a dog and a tropical aquarium. Our dog passed away when dd was 6 months old and she's now 18 months and obsessed with dogs but we won't get one for a few years at least as I find dogs require A LOT of time and energy and we simply don't have that right now with what dd needs from us.
    DD adores our two cats, loves looking at the fish in the tank and we just got new chickens yesterday after being chicken free for a few months. Our primary reason for getting the chickens was for our dd to look at and follow around as she's very interested in birds/ducks at the moment and the eggs are fantastic of course.
    My dd gets nothing but pleasure from our pets so I can't see them as anything but positive. But we are life-long pet owners so we are used to and able to manage the responsibilities that go with pets and would have pets whether we had children or not. Here is our dd with her favourite cat - they adore each other
    IMG_1483406998.890805.jpg

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    There are lots of studies to support pets with better immune systems in the early years, and reduced allergies, too.
    Risks can be to the child or the animal. A small pet might be squashed, a dog or cat might hurt a child etc.
    I agree with the responsibility thing...I didn't get a pet specifically for that (as I genuinely just wanted a dog!) but it's been nice to show them that level of responsibility. As for my preteen with the fish...they wanted the fish, and I very clearly outlined I did not want a fish and it was to be their sole responsibility. So far so good. If they stop caring for it, then I will take over, but so far the best thing that has come out of the fish for me is the level of independent responsibility my preteen is showing by solely caring for the fish.
    Last edited by Full House; 03-01-2017 at 13:01.

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    Default Pets and kids?

    I think pets are great for children to grow up around *only if the parents are responsible pet owners to teach their children. They can teach older children responsibility, younger children how to be kind and gentle, and they can bring a whole lot of love to a family too!


 

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