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  #1  
May 22nd, 2010, 05:58 PM
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At what age would you allow your child/children to have their own pet?

What pet would you like them to start out with?

Is there any pet you won't let them have?

What will you do to help them prepare for their new friend?
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  #2  
May 23rd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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At what age would you allow your child/children to have their own pet?
I don't have a set age in mind, it will all depend on their readiness for a pet, regardless of age.

What pet would you like them to start out with?
I would prefer a pet that I've had a lot of experience with like a cat, dog, rabbit, or fish just so that I would be more helpful in showing them how to take care of their pet.

Is there any pet you won't let them have?
I would be open to just about anything as long as I didn't feel that it was dangerous for them, like a snake. IMO, snakes are not good pets for anyone especially children.

What will you do to help them prepare for their new friend?
I think by us already have family pets, the kids are both being prepared for having one of their own someday. Meyson is 4 and loves helping me take care of our furry friends. Just a few minutes ago, he just got done feeding our dog.

Olivia will be a year old on the 28th and what we're working with for her is trying to teach her to be easy with the animals and not just try to grab at them. I will take her hand and help her pet the dog and show her how to be gentle. So far she's doing really well and luckily are dog is awesome with the kids and even if she does unintentionally get a little rough sometimes the dog will just lay there.
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  #3  
May 24th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Never. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats and that's PLENTY. He really wants a bird and I don't know MAYBE somewhere down the line, but he needs to be able to do his chores and take care of himself before he's in charge of something else. I REFUSE to take on anymore pets myself and IMO if the parent isn't willing ot take charge of the animal when the child grows bored of it then they shouldn't get it and at this point I'm not willing to do that, so as of now the brood we have will have to be enough.
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  #4  
May 25th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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At what age would you allow your child/children to have their own pet? I think it will depend on the individual child, but I can't picture myself allowing them their own pets before the age of ten.

What pet would you like them to start out with? I would prefer they start out with a reptile because I am familiar with them and because they are extremely easy to maintain.

Is there any pet you won't let them have? I really would like them to stay away from hamsters and gerbils as I just don't care for them, but I am pretty open minded and wouldn't object to the idea. I wouldn't allow them to get a cat or dog as they are way too much responsibility for a child and I consider them family pets anyways.

What will you do to help them prepare for their new friend? I am going to make the pet purchasing process a very long one. I want my kids to learn that animals aren't something you buy on a whim nor are they disposable. We will probably research whatever pet they are interested in for at least a month before buying it. Even if I know everything about the animal, I want my kids to do the research and learn about the animal themselves. I may even take them to a rescue and have them talk to an experienced keeper first. Then we'll buy the supplies first get set up and then a week or two later, buy/adopt the animal.


Quote:
Is there any pet you won't let them have?
I would be open to just about anything as long as I didn't feel that it was dangerous for them, like a snake. IMO, snakes are not good pets for anyone especially children.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you want to keep your kids away from "dangerous" pets, pet snakes would be at the bottom of your list. The majority of pet snakes are not at all aggressive and do not pose any type of danger to human beings, whether it be adults or children. When compared to other pets, snakes are actually much "safer" and far less aggressive and less likely to attack or cause injury to any person, including children. While pet dogs attack and injure thousands of people a year and kill about a half a dozen people each year, over a 30 year span pet snakes have only killed 12 people. Cats and horses also injure a heck of lot more people than snakes. I worked for a pet store for almost a year and was bitten 7 times, by 7 separate hamsters and I have owned snakes (we have almost 30 ball pythons) for over three years and have only been bitten twice and my boyfriend once. Also snake's behavior is far more predictable then a cat or dog's. I would agree that larger snakes like Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons and African rock pythons should only be kept by experienced keepers, not because I believe they are dangerous, but their size, the cost of feeding and the space required to properly house them make them harder to maintain.
Now I can understand a person not wanting a snake for a pet; I know they aren't for everyone (just like I have no interest in owning a toy dog, I like them they just don't fit my personality) but to call them dangerous is a very unfair and ignorant statement. Please don't take that personally, a lot people base their opinions of snakes and other animals on the exaggerated news stories instead of actual facts and I don't think you are an ignorant person, just misinformed on the topic.

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  #5  
May 25th, 2010, 03:42 PM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barlea View Post
Now I can understand a person not wanting a snake for a pet; I know they aren't for everyone (just like I have no interest in owning a toy dog, I like them they just don't fit my personality) but to call them dangerous is a very unfair and ignorant statement. Please don't take that personally, a lot people base their opinions of snakes and other animals on the exaggerated news stories instead of actual facts and I don't think you are an ignorant person, just misinformed on the topic.
I personally will never own a snake, but not because of any aggressive issues. I love snakes, they are very cool, very predictable and very fun. But the fact that they are reservoirs for Salmonella is enough for me to pass on them. I don't know if that's what she was referring to or not, but that's my reasoning.

As for kids with pets, I had my first hamster when I was 4 or 5. Then we had Holland Lops when I was in elementary school, and I had LOTS of fish all through high school. We also had family dogs throughout this time. I think I will wait until she's old enough to understand the responsibility, but I think we will probably get something like a Chinchilla or Ferret. Very friendly and fun animals, and pretty easy to take care of.
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  #6  
May 25th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
I personally will never own a snake, but not because of any aggressive issues. I love snakes, they are very cool, very predictable and very fun. But the fact that they are reservoirs for Salmonella is enough for me to pass on them. I don't know if that's what she was referring to or not, but that's my reasoning.
That's not entirely true either. Yes, they carry salmonella, all reptiles do, it is part of their beneficial bacteria and most of it is in their digestive track. The most common way people get salmonella poisoning from a reptile is through contact with their feces. As long as you use a paper towel, gloves or a scoop to remove their poop and wash your hands afterward (which I hope you would do when handling any type of poop) then your actually more likely to get salmonella cooking dinner than by handling a reptile.
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  #7  
May 25th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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I know that, but the unfortunate reality is not everyone is very good about cleaning. And if the animal has had contact with it's feces, then you touch the animal, not realizing it, and don't wash your hands that's all it could take. I'm not saying OMG REPTILES ARE DIRTY HORRIBLE ANIMALS! lol Just trying to point out why someone may not choose them. Just like someone might not choose hamsters because they tend to bite. Or Ferrets because they "smell". Every animal has their own pros and cons, and some people are just more willing or understanding.
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  #8  
May 25th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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As far as my statement about snakes, it just merely an opinion as I made sure to state. What I believe to be unfair is to call someone's opinion ignorant because everyone is entitled to their own opinion regardless of what it is based on. I'm not saying that snakes are a bad animal for any home, they will just never belong in MY home. There are many things that people are afraid of that may seem ridiculous to others but that's just one of the things that makes us all unique. I happen to be a firm believer that the behavior of any dog regardless of breed is based on their upbringing and treatment, but I know so many people that are terrified of the breeds deemed to be aggressive just because that dog happens to be of a particular breed. Do I agree with this? No, but I respect their right to have that opinion.
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  #9  
May 28th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
I know that, but the unfortunate reality is not everyone is very good about cleaning. And if the animal has had contact with it's feces, then you touch the animal, not realizing it, and don't wash your hands that's all it could take. I'm not saying OMG REPTILES ARE DIRTY HORRIBLE ANIMALS! lol Just trying to point out why someone may not choose them. Just like someone might not choose hamsters because they tend to bite. Or Ferrets because they "smell". Every animal has their own pros and cons, and some people are just more willing or understanding.
I don't think that you meant to say they were gross or dirty, but calling them a "reservoir of salmonella" is definitely an over statement as it implies they are covered in it or that it is dripping from their mouths, which is completely false. I think reptiles owners should be aware of salmonella and be clean with all their animals, reptile or not, but it really shouldn't prevent you from owning a reptile or be a source of fear. You can catch something from any of your pets whether it's worms, ring worms, scabies, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, etc. I agree all pets have their pros and cons and this would be a reptile's con, but the chances of getting it aren't any higher, and probably lower, than catching something else from another type of pet. I frequent several reptile forums and speak with reptile owners and exotic vets from all over and I haven't met anyone who has gotten salmonella from a reptile.


Quote:
As far as my statement about snakes, it just merely an opinion as I made sure to state. What I believe to be unfair is to call someone's opinion ignorant because everyone is entitled to their own opinion regardless of what it is based on. I'm not saying that snakes are a bad animal for any home, they will just never belong in MY home. There are many things that people are afraid of that may seem ridiculous to others but that's just one of the things that makes us all unique. I happen to be a firm believer that the behavior of any dog regardless of breed is based on their upbringing and treatment, but I know so many people that are terrified of the breeds deemed to be aggressive just because that dog happens to be of a particular breed. Do I agree with this? No, but I respect their right to have that opinion.
Well, I'm sorry, but if you base your opinion on false information, than it is an ignorant opinion. You also did not say that you are afraid of snakes, but that you wanted to keep your kids away from dangerous pets, like snakes and I was just pointing out that if you truly want your kids away "dangerous" pets then based on statistics, snakes are far less dangerous than most pets. You also said that snakes don't make good pets for anyone and I happen to know a lot of people, including children, who love and cherish their pet snakes the same as someone would their pet dog or cat. You have to understand how frustrating it is when people have these false assumptions or voice inaccurate information about snakes or other reptiles. I love my snakes very much and I take it personally because I would be devastated if these lies lead to the banning of my pets, which some politicians are actively trying to do as we speak. As I said, I truly believe that you are NOT an ignorant person, just misinformed as a lot of people with your same view are; I would urge you to learn about reptiles, maybe attend a reptile show and see all the beautiful animals and talk to breeders. I think you would be surprised at what you see.
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  #10  
May 28th, 2010, 06:49 PM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barlea View Post
I don't think that you meant to say they were gross or dirty, but calling them a "reservoir of salmonella" is definitely an over statement as it implies they are covered in it or that it is dripping from their mouths, which is completely false. I think reptiles owners should be aware of salmonella and be clean with all their animals, reptile or not, but it really shouldn't prevent you from owning a reptile or be a source of fear. You can catch something from any of your pets whether it's worms, ring worms, scabies, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, etc. I agree all pets have their pros and cons and this would be a reptile's con, but the chances of getting it aren't any higher, and probably lower, than catching something else from another type of pet. I frequent several reptile forums and speak with reptile owners and exotic vets from all over and I haven't met anyone who has gotten salmonella from a reptile.
I didn't mean for it to seem like I thought they were "dripping" in Salmonella, or that they are dirty creatures. I meant it to refer to the fact that Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria in the intestinal track of these animals. In the same way that skunks, coyotes, and bats are "reservoirs" for Rabies.

And since this is a topic about kids and pets, I would still not own them for this reason, especially because the CDC recommends that reptiles not be kept in homes with children under the age of 1, and children under the age of 5 should not be allowed to care for reptiles unsupervised.

But this is just my opinion. They aren't right for my home. That's not to say they aren't great pets and animals, or that I don't enjoy them.
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  #11  
May 28th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Well, I'm sorry, but if you base your opinion on false information, than it is an ignorant opinion. You also did not say that you are afraid of snakes, but that you wanted to keep your kids away from dangerous pets, like snakes and I was just pointing out that if you truly want your kids away "dangerous" pets then based on statistics, snakes are far less dangerous than most pets. You also said that snakes don't make good pets for anyone and I happen to know a lot of people, including children, who love and cherish their pet snakes the same as someone would their pet dog or cat. You have to understand how frustrating it is when people have these false assumptions or voice inaccurate information about snakes or other reptiles. I love my snakes very much and I take it personally because I would be devastated if these lies lead to the banning of my pets, which some politicians are actively trying to do as we speak. As I said, I truly believe that you are NOT an ignorant person, just misinformed as a lot of people with your same view are; I would urge you to learn about reptiles, maybe attend a reptile show and see all the beautiful animals and talk to breeders. I think you would be surprised at what you see.

I strongly believe that opinions in and of themselves cannot be ignorant. As I stated before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion regardless of what it is based upon. Do we all have to agree? No, but we should all respect each other's opinions whether we agree with them or not. I understand that it is frustrating to hear negative things about an animal that we love, but when we are pushy about our beliefs on anything, including animals, it may be offputting and do the exact opposite of what we intend to do.

Personally, I will most likely never change my mind on the topic. I don't want a snake in my home or around my children. If someone else chooses one for a pet, more power to them, but don't expect me or my kids to visit.
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  #12  
May 28th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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I would have to agree with you on this one Barlea. Opinions are fine, but when they're based on false information or lack of information and education sometimes we need to go back, get the facts, and re-evaluate our opinion. That doesn't mean that you change your mind on the situation as a whole (ie I do or do not want a reptile as a pet), but at least be adult enough to say "hey my reasoning for not wanting one really isn't valid anymore". If you don't want one because you are scared of them, they bit you, you don't want them whatever that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion yes, but why hear that your reasons are based on incorrect information and still refuse to listen to what someone is trying to say? She's trying to educate you on the fact that they are not as dangerous as some of the propoganda makes them seem and as an intelligent human being with the capacity to change their mind, you should listen. Opinions are GREAT, differing opinions are even better that's what makes this country fabulous...but your opinions really should be based on facts and true information versus myths and incorrect information.

Nobody's saying you should change your mind, however it would probably behoove you to choose a different reason for your opinion, or yes, stating the original reasons you stated for not wanting a reptile makes you sound ignorant on the subject...there's no shame in that we all have false information on one thing or another, but IMO the shame comes when someone who IS informed, educated, and owns the creatures is trying to correct the false information for you and you're not willing to listen and change the reasons for your opinion to more accurate and true reasons.

Personally I am not into reptiles, honestly can't tell you why, I think I just tend to like more furry cuddly things, but if my son REALLY wanted one THAT bad and I felt he was old enough and mature enough to 100% care for it then I wouldn't have an issue with it...they're just not my "thing" but at times I do find them cute in their scaly sort of way LoL. I'm HUGE on hand washing in our house anyway and hand sanitizer so I don't find it to be a big issue honestly. I certainly wouldn't keep myself or him from visiting someone's house because of them (in fact I did a home visit for the rescue I foster for with someone that had a snake).
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  #13  
May 29th, 2010, 01:45 AM
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Thank you Meghan! That's basically my entire point. I am not asking you to run out and buy a snake, I'm not even asking you to like them. All I am asking is that you base your opinions on actual facts and not a little blurb that catches your eye or a news story that's full of holes. It's not fair to the people who keep them and it's definitely not fair to the animals.
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  #14  
May 29th, 2010, 05:46 AM
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My point is that we should not ridicule each other for our own beliefs or opinions or how we choose to raise our children. The only statement I am willing to admit fault on is when I said that snakes are not good pets. Looking back, my wording was not how I intended and I do believe that if you are willing to do the research and provide the proper care and you feel that a snake is the pet for you, then I have no problem with that. Also, when I said that they are dangerous, I put the word dangerous in quotations because that's just part of my opinion, not a stone cold fact that I am trying to influence anyone with. I am not trying to get anyone to my way of thinking, I just would like to not be judged based on how I feel about a certain subject.

If you truely want to educate someone on something, maybe the best idea would not be to automatically throw out words like ignorant. Those kinds of words have negative connotations and are often linked to other not-so-nice words such as stupid. Most of the time, those two words go hand in hand, even though I know that they do not share the same definintion. Like I said before, usually you will not have the result you want because it automatically wants to put someone on the defensive.

And I do truely know how frustrating it is when others don't share the same opinions of an animal that you love. I happen to love pit bulls and there will always be those who swear to me that I can't trust them around my kids, they will attack no matter what, violence is just in their blood, etc... All things that are blown out of proportion by media and those who abuse the animals to make them violent. They will always have the stereotype of a dangerous animal and there's not a whole lot I can do about that. I have just learned to respect their side of the issue even if it's not something I agree with.

So I guess really my whole point here is that no one should be ridiculed for their opinion as long as that's all it is, just an opinion.
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  #15  
May 30th, 2010, 08:25 PM
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I was in no way trying to ridicule you, and I am sorry that you took it that way. I was just trying to provide you with some actual facts in hopes that maybe you would be willing to actually try and look at the other side of things. I don't expect everyone to have the same opinion as me, just at least base their opinions on something true. I also made it very clear that I DID NOT and still DO NOT think you are in any way an ignorant person in general, just lacking information on this particular subject; and since you seem to be stuck on the word "ignorant" I have pulled the definition for you to show the context in which it was meant to be used.

ig·no·rant



1.lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2.lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3.uninformed; unaware.
4.due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

There is no need to feel embarrassed or hurt by the word. Nobody knows everything, which means every person on the planet is ignorant about something and probably several things.

I do find it a bit contradictory that you are so willing to love and appreciate one misunderstood pet, the pit bull (which is beautiful and if you haven't noticed I love them too ), yet you are so unwilling to even try and understand another equally misunderstood pet. If the lies and myths about pits aren't true, then why can't the ones about snakes be false as well? I can't sit back in silence when somebody's says something false about an animal that I love especially when some people are trying to ban as pets. If you had said snakes make bad pets because you can't play fetch with them or cuddle with them in bed at night, well then I can't argue with that, but calling them dangerous is so false and it hurts me to hear it said, so I have to say something. I have said all that I can say to you and I hope that you will at least take a bit of your time to learn about pet snakes. There is so much information about them online and people love to post videos of their ball pythons, red tail boas and corn snakes on youtube. I also think you should attend a reptile expo. Most major cities hold one once or twice a year and they only cost a few dollars to attend. I bet your kids would enjoy seeing not only the snakes, but monitors, lizards, geckos, turtles and tortoises.
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  #16  
May 31st, 2010, 03:35 AM
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My intentions were not to offend you, or anyone for that matter. I do apologize for my poor choice of words, sometimes I'm not the best at wording things in a way that gets my point across, especially when I'm lacking sleep, which I have been this past week due to birthday planning, teething issues and starting a new job.

To be honest, I have a fear of snakes. I have no idea why, just always have since I was a kid. Once in high school, a boy brought one to school for science class and when he brought it close to me, I honestly couldn't breathe. It's one of those fears that I can't explain because I haven't had any bad experiences. I wish that I didn't have this fear because I would love to work in a pet store, but cannot because of it. So that is why in my mind they are "dangerous". Not because I believe they are aggressive, but because I personally am afraid of them so yes in my mind, with that fear, they are dangerous. I believe that in general, pets of any kind are only dangerous when the humans in their life make them that way, pitbulls for example.

I would also like to apologize if I offended, hurt your feelings or upset you in any way. That was not at all my intention.
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  #17  
June 14th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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At what age would you allow your child/children to have their own pet? - Around 13, but at the same time, I know that they wouldn't carry the complete responsibility for the animal. Although I would ensure that she was took primary care of it, obviously a 13 year old is not going to do ALL of the work. And I'm fine with that.

What pet would you like them to start out with? - Probably a rabbit. I got a rabbit when I was around 13 years old.

Is there any pet you won't let them have? - I fully intend on having more than one dog when she's older and growing up, but for her "own" pet, I don't think I'd get her a dog.. just because when you're a teenager, it's hard to carry that responsiblity because you want to have your freedom with your friends and such.

I guess, honestly, it all depends on how mature she is and if she can prove to me that she'd be dedicated to taking care of an animal. That's only something time will tell.



What will you do to help them prepare for their new friend?
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