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Pets yet?
Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
Who has pets!?! At what age do you think it's appropriate to bring a pet into the home with children.
I know for me, I didn't bring a pet into the house intil the kids asked for one. Even then it was a while before I gave into a dog.

Anyone else fighting the commitment of pets?

If you do have a pet or are thinking of one, don't miss our great Pet Community !

You can get your questions answered there. :)
WebMD Community Staff
phoenix31674 responded:
We had cats for years before the kids. They adapted very well to the little one. now we are down to just one cat from two, but he's done well with the second one.

If you are going to get a puppy/kitten, I do think you should wait until the child is elementary age. If you are bringing an older pet into the home, make sure it's been around kids and done well, but I would still wait until about 3 because before then kids can do a lot of stuff to startle/annoy pets. Many times between 1.5 and 2 one or the other of the cats would swat at DD. Never in anger, but in leave me alone. They would hiss/growl as well, but never took a bite at her.

I don't know that we will do any more pets after our current kitty is gone. We move too much and pets are a lot of work. Though once we settle, who knows.

First and foremost though if you are looking at a dog is to really research the breed. Some like Dalmations are not good around kids at all and of course toy dogs could be too fragile around young kids.
Me (36), DH (36), DD (3), DS (10/4/2010) and one cat
FarmWife1979 responded:
We have 2 cats, both were here before DD. They adjusted to her well, with no incidents of biting or scratching to date.

One cat (the male) is more social and hangs out with DD on the couch, laying on the floor, etc. He tolerates her trying to put necklaces on him and petting him. We've worked hard from the time DD started crawling to teach her to pet the kitty nicely - no pulling tails, no smashing, no kicking, no hitting, etc. He would sleep with DD at night if we let him, but we don't let the cats into the bedrooms mainly to control the spread of the cat hair.

The other cat (the female) is anti-social and prefers to remain on the opposite side of the child-gate from my DD. That's her preference and we leave her alone. DD has been taught to give that kitty her space, but does pet her if that kitty comes up for a rub.

If my DH had his way, both cats would be living in the garage at this point (or in someone else's home). He's tired of the cat hair on everything, cleaning the litter box, etc. However, I think have pets has already taught DD valuable lessons about how to treat others, so I persuade him that it's a good idea to keep them.

I grew up with dogs in the house, so really the only time I've been without a pet of some kind was college dorms. It makes life richer to share with a pet.
Holly (31) DH (38) DD (3-born 11/16/07). Full-time working Mom, Wife, Library Board President, Chef, Chauffer, Maid, Toy Assembler and Repair Technician, and Chief Boo-Boo Kisser.
Stephensmom1214 responded:
We have a cat, and we had her for 7 years before DS came along. We have had a few biting incidents, but to be fair, she was a biter BEFORE DS came along. She just loves him, though. She wants to sleep in his bed with him, and loves to snuggle up against him on the couch. She is NOT patient with him, though, when he is trying to get her to move somewhere - she will swat at him or try to bite him. Usually, though, we figure it's his own fault, and he needs to learn to not push her around.

I don't think we'll have another pet for a while after she is gone. It's just so hard to deal with when we are traveling and stuff...
Patty, DH, and Stephen the great (12/14/06)
curleysue1968 replied to Stephensmom1214's response:
Patty, I think we have the same cat!! LOL And we aren't going to get another one either!
mol13 responded:
If you're going to get a pet, you need to be VERY sure that it's what you and your family want. Because if not, and you can't find the pet a new home, you pretty much sentence it to death at a shelter.

I'm never getting a dog, a cat, or anything else with fur or feathers. It's not up for negotiation. Frogs, fish, and lizards are possibilities when the kids are older.
Molly (30) DH (36) David 8/30/07; beat cancer, now needs hearing aids. Jesse 07/05/09; my daredevil! Boy 3 (!) EDD 7/13/2011.
Chris_WebMD_Staff replied to mol13's response:
We got a dog when my kids were 11, 9 and 7 years old. But I did encourage a smaller dog because I knew ultimately I would be the one caring for it.
We all did agree on a Bichon Frise' A little white fluffy girl. LOL Belle is still with our family 13 years old. My kids are all in there 20's now, and my original puppy and two other dogs added remain! Every time one of my kids went off to college I got another dog! Yikes!
Chrissy WebMD Community Staff
sarah0323 responded:

My kids started asking for a cat when they were 8, 3, & 2. I'm allergic to cats so I kept telling them no. Finally I told them we could have a hamster when the kids were 10, 5, 4 & 2. Thinking that they would grow tired of it soon and we had a back up plan in case the hamster just didn't fit with our family. Well a year later we still had the hamster. I had been wanting an English Bulldog for a very long time and I finally found one that I wanted. So I got the puppy for me. I wanted a puppy so that we could make sure he was introduced to the kids in a postive way. He is so good with the kids. They literally use him as a pillow and he wouldn't have it any other way. I still have the main care for the dog but I'm okay with that. They have learned so much by having to care for the hamster and the puppy that we couldn't have taught them. They like to take the dog for walks. This not only gets the dog exercise but they get exercise as well.

The main thing is to make sure you do your research if you are getting a new pet.. They are going to be a part of your family for years. Make sure that if you are getting a dog that the breed and dog will fit with your family.

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