Random Thought: Adding animals to the mix – should we get a pet?

After writing my post about my “Need To Nurture”, I’m wondering how other families approach the topic of pets. We are juggling so much right now with four little kids ages 5 and under, but I would imagine that we may not be “pet free” indefinitely.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007, pets are found in almost 68% of households with children under the age of six, and more than 74% of households with children over the age of six.  I believe the value that pets can bring to a family and the sense of responsibility they can offer to children — but I shudder at the thought of ANOTHER mouth to feed and being to care for.

So I have some questions for the group:

There are obviously many benefits that pets give children – and I’ve always been a big believer in pets and had a series of them growing up.   But the thought now with four kids 5 and under with a pet just scares me; it’s just not right.   I think any big animal (dog) would need to be cared for by kids maybe 10 years or older…. younger kids may fare better with a hamster.  I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Thanks for participating –

– Mama K


  1. We got a pet fish by accident (long story) and he/she lived for 3 years and recently died. My 5-yr old daughter didn’t even bat an eye but my 2-yr old son seemed sad. I was traumatized by this. I don’t think we’ll ever get pets again. Plus washing out the dirty tank every other week was no fun.

  2. We had 2 elderly dogs when my son was born. And the last one we put to sleep when he was almost 2. I think older dogs (provided they are tolerant of kids) are great with the little ones. “A” used to walk our dog when he was 18 months, toddling along behind him with the leash in his hand. Finnigan was so old that he walked at just the right pace. It was sweet.

    It is hard to consider adopting a dog for what could be a very short period of time, but I think if I ever came across an old dog in need of a home, and I was in the market for a pet with toddlers, I’d consider that. It could be a challenge to find a dog with the right temperament, though. Finnigan wasn’t perfect. He nipped A (on the face) 3 different times when A surprised him – not aggressively, but defending his space. We had to be on our toes always watching. I’m not sure I’d sign up for that now with 2 kids.

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