Choosing a suitable pet for Young children

(7 Posts)

My DDs are desperate for a pet - to the point of adopting every caterpillar, millipede, skink etc they come across. I have so far resisted but they are wearing me down & since they have recently been begging for a baby brother I thought a small animal might be a better bet. I have a 6 yr old & 4 yr old DTs. DTs both have asthma.

I am not a dog person and although I love cats we are (unfortunately) living in Australia and cats really need to be kept indoors here. Any suggestions/ recommendations as to what would be the ideal pet? I am thinking along the lines of rabbit/ guinea pig sort of thing but have only ever had cats so not sure really.

tabulahrasa Thu 10-Oct-13 11:39:19

Cats do fine inside when they're raised like that, just as an option.

Rabbits are harder work and need more space than you'd think, guinea pigs are more strokeable for children...but, hay from either of them might be an issue with asthma.

In fact do you know if furry pets will set it off anyway?

FernieB Thu 10-Oct-13 12:59:56

Get your DTs to spend some time with potential pets first - friends pets or at a petting zoo. You need to see if an animal or it's hay set off allergies.

LadyMedea Thu 10-Oct-13 13:05:33

Not first on everyone's list but I'd highly recommend rats. I accidentally acquired one and really enjoyed having him.

They are intelligent, social and very handleable if they get used to it from being young. I used to walk around with mine asleep on my shoulder. Guinea pigs and rabbits are fine but they take up more space and are less interactive.

Thanks - asthma trigger so far has been respiratory infection/ illness. We have had brief petting zoo visits - baby farm animals rather than small pets- no adverse reactions, but would hate to get an animal then have to rehome. Hoping that keeping guineas or rabbits outside would minimise asthma risk.

Thanks for your suggestion, Lady Medea, but I'm hugely phobic & would never cope with pet rats. Just typing the word made me shudder! Have been told they make good pets though.

I have 2 male guinea-pigs but apart from the fur ,hay is an allergen issue if someone has sensitivites.

They are also very messy little mammals.

A baby brother MIGHT be an easier option all round grin

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