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Thread: Pets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Lightbulb Pets

    Just looking for some perspective from other moms.

    My daughter Amelie has been asking for a pet for as long as I can remember. In particular, she really wants a puppy. The last two Christmases and birthdays a puppy has been her only request.

    I'm absolutely not an animal person at all. Sure, I find pictures of them cute, I respect them, and I don't like seeing them hurt or in pain, but other than that I guess I can admit that I'm pretty cold toward most animals. I'm pretty sure it comes from being bitten by a large viscous pitbull as a child. No lasting damage or scars, but I've been very weary of the idea of getting a pet ever since.

    I don't want my daughter growing up with my prejudices towards animals, being afraid of them like I am. But on the other hand, I can't bring myself to buy her the puppy she wants so badly.

    Quite a few things are stopping me: We live in a rural area, so a pet wouldn't be able to live outside due to the risk of being attacked by foxes and other similar creatures. I don't want a house pet because (no offence) I can always tell whether someone has pets or not the second I walk into their home from the smell and I don't want that in my own house. Dog hairs and the thought of him leaving little accidents around the house is also a turn off.

    I'm also concerned that I'd have to keep a very close eye on baby when he/she arrives in case the dog gets jealous and attacks him/her.

    My husband on the other hand, grew up with a lovely sheepdog and had a great experience. He often talks of the companionship he felt and he has no fear of dogs/cats presently. He is all for us getting a pet.

    So Berries, please share your experiences with pets to help me come to a decision. In particular, I'm interested in hearing from Berries with young children.

    Thanks for reading! x

    Amelie Clara (2008) & Daisy Madeline (2013).

    Alice Tallulah, Polly Matilda, Rosalie Faye, Lucy Annabel, Maya Lillian, Hazel Kate, Eva Blossom, Juliet Lila, Ivy Camille.
    Charles Joshua "Charlie", Theodore Samuel "Teddy", Elliott Daniel, Noah Zachary, James Oscar, Arthur Philip, Rowan Isaac.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I got my dog at age 9 as a puppy and he was great. Very few accidents, easily trainable, etc.
    SO's family got a puppy for Easter last year when his youngest sister was almost a year old and the didn't have any problems beyond the puppy bumping her as he walked by. Same year for Christmas they got two kittens and had no issues with them either.
    If you get your daughter a puppy I wouldn't worry about it being vicious towards the baby because the puppy hasn't been there long enough to feel threatened.
    If you don't want a big animal you could start at some cage animal. SO and I each have a rat. They're lovely social animals. And they keep themselves extremely clean. SO's rat will sit in his pocket and go around the house with him and mine is content to roam around a large cardboard box or sit on your lap for a bit. However if you were to go that route I would suggest buying two of one sex at the same time from the same cage. We got our rats, both males, at seperate times and they dislike each other and need to be kept in a seperate cage. And if you dislike rats there's also mice which are very similar. I would advise against hamsters and gerbils as they are very aggressive and will chew your knuckles open or bite much more than most caged animals. I dislike rabbits because I've yet to meet a nice one and guinea pigs get sick easily. But that all depends on how you feel about rodents.
    Be sure to teach your daughter, and later the baby, how to treat animals, how a cat flipping its tail means something different than a dog wagging his tail, and how to act if an animal becomes aggressive and they should be fine.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Humboldt, California
    An calm, older dog would probably be better with a small child. My mom rescued a senior dog a few years before I was born. That dog was eternally grateful to her. My mom would put infant me in my carseat on the table and the dog would watch me and get my mom if I started fussing. When I got older the dog would always be with me if I went outside. Our neighborhood wasn't good, so the dog would guard me and wouldn't let me get near the gate. I wasn't very nice to her as a toddler and pulled her ears and tail but she never bit.

    Accidents don't occur in healthy, well trained adult dogs. There are certain breeds that don't shed much and ones that are noted for beig excellent with children. There are tons of amazing dogs in shelters just waiting for a home.
    Love my dog Zephyr <3
    Currently pondering:
    Elysia Maeve~Marina Isolde~Linnea Violetta~Minerva Sophronia~Merida Ianthe~Eleni Finola
    Tiernan Hugo~Felix Lysander~Orion Casimir~Caspian Milo~Evander Anslem~Leonidas Gavin
    Cosima Helene & Emrys Jasper

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Honestly, if you're not an animal person and you don't want a pet living in your house, then I would advise against getting one. Pets are a lot of work (not to mention money, time, etc.) and if your heart's not in it, you're going to become really resenful towards that pet really quickly. Also, it's not fair to the animal to be owned by someone who doesn't really want it. Sure, your daughter will be disappointed that she's not getting a puppy but she'll get over it (and can have as many pets as she wants as an adult).

    As for not wanting your daughter to be afraid of animals, that can be achieved without having a pet. Children will mimic the attitudes and actions of their parents so as long as you don't show any fear whenever you interact with a dog (or any other type of animal), then your child most likely won't either. And for what it's worth, I've never heard of a pet dog (or cat) attacking a baby. I'm sure it's happened but I know plenty of people with pets and babies/small children (myself included) and no one has ever had an incident. I wouldn't get a new pet at the same time as a new baby though. Babies are enough work on their own and having to train a puppy at the same time would just be very exhausting (puppies are basically like toddlers, they cry at night, have to be potty trained and will put everything within sight in their mouth. Plus they have very sharp little baby teeth) and stressful.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Flyover Territory
    Pets are really great and can really enrich your family's lives... if you want them to. Since you really aren't into them, I'd advise against any pet, unless your daughter is old enough to truly take care of its needs. If she's under ten, you are going to either doing the work for her, or be having to constantly remind her. And if she gets bored with it, you'll either have to force her to continue the work of caring for the pet, or join the millions of families dropping pets off at shelters to die. I would particularly not recommend getting a new animal just before or after a new baby arrives, as they'll have too much in common and keep you much too busy .

    If/when you do decide to get a dog, definitely research the breed. I used to work in a shelter where we constantly received dalmatians and border collies because the kids wanted that breed due to a movie. Working breeds are a baaaad idea for families who are not committed to training and mental and physical exercise. Shih tzus, while not my cup of tea, are great family dogs that are small, shed little and have little dander, and are generally less yappy than other small dogs.

    Good luck with your decision. I can't imagine it's easy when a little one wants something so badly, but you have to stick to what's best for your family... and sometimes what's best is whatever makes Mama happiest!
    Tara, proud mama to a Honey Badger
    ... and a Badger in Training

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