Jun 14 2012
The other day, I sat down with my What’s UP¬†magazine. ¬†I flipped for a bit and then fell on the article “Which pet is right for your family?”
“Shoot,” I thought. ¬†”Too late!”
The week earlier, my family of five had just welcomed our sixth member – a Duck Toller puppy.
It turns out, getting a puppy fits right along the lifestyle changes we have been working on, over the last few months. ¬†”Whew!” Cue a huge sigh of relief.
Our puppy is fitting right in. ¬†We love her to bits and are enjoying the new adventures she is bringing our way (plus having tile and hardwood floors helps).
The question about pets went out to our local team of parents; the Been There Done That Squad.
Do you have a pet? ¬†If no, why not? ¬†Are you planning on getting a pet?
If yes, what kind? ¬†Did you have the pet before you had kids? ¬†How did you choose your pet? ¬†How did you teach your child to behave around and treat your pet?
We have two pets – a 7-year old Border Collie dog (“Blue”) and a 10-month old fish (“Chico”).¬† We had the dog before we had kids – he was abandoned 3 days before Christmas, and we rescued him from Animal Control at the City.¬† Of course, by the time our eldest was 10 months old, she was extremely interested in him and loved grabbing his ears and sharing “kisses” with him.¬† The same for our youngest child too.¬† We have taught both of them to give him his own space (and he tends to mostly stay out of their way anyway!), and if he gets a little “rowdy” with them to say “NO THANKS BLUE!” – he responds to this quite well and will usually back off and go lie down and observe their antics.¬† When our eldest turned 4-years old, she started being responsible for giving him his food each evening, helping to develop a bond between them.
We have a 12 year-old mutt named Gromit. ¬†He was a street dog in Iqaluit, Nunavut and was one of more than 30 rescue dogs I took in and found homes for in southern Canada. ¬†We didn’t choose him, we (very fortunately) got stuck with him because no one else wanted him. ¬†We had him for five years before our first son was born. ¬†We have never allowed our kids to tug on our dog. ¬†I am a firm believer that a dog shouldn’t just have ‘to deal’. We insisted that the kids were gentle with him. Gromit was naturally tolerant of the kids, but not very playful. ¬†The key for us was establishing a place that he could escape to that was vigilantly kid-free. ¬†He was never pushed past his limit because he could always get away.
We don‚Äôt currently have any pets. We have had fish in the past, and would like to again in the near future since we still have all of the equipment. Although we all like cats and dogs (and K is in the phase of REALLY wanting a dog) three of us are allergic so for the time being, all of our pets will have to be hairless.
When we got our original fish, we went with the basic ‚Äústarter‚ÄĚ fish ‚Äď two goldfish, named Lilo and Stitch. With the fish, the boys were taught how to feed them, not to tap the tank, etc. Now that they are a little older, when we get our new fish, they will be involved in cleaning the tank, feeding, turning on and off the tank lights etc.
We do not have a pet at the moment.¬† I am hoping in the next year or two that we might get a dog!
For my son I will tell him to treat the dog with lots of love. ¬†He¬†will be helping with feeding, walking and caring for our dog. I will¬†assign him responsibilities to ensure the dog is well taken care of. ¬†We will get one in a few years
Our daughter is only 21 months (and in our scenario, it’s cats). ¬†So far, we just show ‘nice petting’ & ‘gentle with kitty’¬† and give¬†her abundant praise when she pets nicely and doesn’t come away with a¬†fistful of hair!
We have 3 cats and a fish.¬† 2 of the cats we had far before we had kids, and the 3rd was homeless and kind of moved in.¬† The fish was an idea for the kids but really just another chore.¬† In all honesty I would prefer to have no pets until the kids were older, as right now our home feels like chaos and if I’m not tripping over a child it’s a cat under foot.¬† Also the cats we had prior to the children dislike the boys and often hiss or scratch them which is hard.
Yes, we have a dog and a cat. We had both before our son came. I am an RAHT, so training our son to be gentle to the animals and the animals to him was easy! He was taught right away to be gentle with touches and also to know that sometimes the animals just needed time to themselves. He is very involved with feeding, walking, grooming and other general care for the animals-which I think helps show compassionate and care towards the animals!
2) we do enjoy camping and like heading out in our camper. I love doing easy meals and meals that everyone is involved in; like tacos, sandwich wraps, barf in a bag(scrambled eggs and the fixings in a baggie that is boiled till cooked),hamburgers, etc.
My husband and I have a son(2.5),a dog and a cat. We’ve lives in kamloops for about 10 years now and love this town! I am an RAHT, and chose to go back to work only 3 days a week to allow me lots of time still with my son!
Yes, we have pets and we love them. We had two cats before we had children and adopted a male boxer puppy about a year ago. I find our pets help teach our daughter how to respect animals. She loves her dog and is very proud of her ability to feed him and play with him. It has been a great way for teaching her responsibility. The bond my daughter has with our dog is irreplaceable.
We have a Shih Tzu -Tibetan Spaniel named Molly.¬† I have found¬†having a¬†dog was a¬†great¬†beginning chore for our 3 (now¬†4) year old. ¬†Our boys feed and give water to Molly, brush her, and help out with¬†bathing her.¬† Although they are not yet cleaning¬†up after her “outside¬†duties”¬†that day cannot come soon enough and is almost here!¬†¬†The clear benefits of our Molly for¬†the kids¬†have been¬†increased empathy¬†towards animals/possibly people, reduced anxiety around other animals¬†due to¬†understanding how to act around them, and according to our¬†allergist, having a pet also builds long term tolerance to pet¬†allergies (as long as kids are not sleeping with or regularly putting their face in her fur).¬† Molly is definitely part of our family and¬†she even resides at our friend’s house from time to time as their¬†”part-time dog”.¬† I know this might sound funny but Molly was around¬†for the birth of¬†our children and being around them as babies¬†really¬†seemed to build her “empathy” and positive character with children, at times it was even like she was trying to take care of them.¬† I¬†encourage parents to consider pets for the many benefits they offer to¬†children, I just recommend they put lots of time in at the start for¬†behaviour training because it makes having a pet¬†easier over the long¬†run.
We had a dog before we had kids (she died of old age the year the kids were born).¬† When the kids (quadruplets) were age 5, we thought it would be a great time to get a dog again, but made the mistake of getting a puppy.¬† We found the chewing, mouthing, jumping stage too much for the kids (it scared them) and the dog became more of something for them to avoid then enjoy.¬† So we found him a good home where he is doing very well.
Now at age 8, a friend gave us their 5 year old cocker spaniel.¬† He is already trained, and has the puppy energy worn out of him, so he is an ideal companion for our kids.¬† When we first introduced him to our family, we had the kids sit on the floor and wait for him to come to them and check them out.¬† Letting the kids know before hand that he might be nervous and overwhelmed seemed to help them understand that he needed space to get to know them on his time.¬† We also assigned each child a day of the week that the dog is “theirs”.¬† For that day, they are solely responsible for the dog’s food/water, exercise, and potty breaks.¬† Though they sometimes forget it’s their day, they don’t ever complain about caring for him which is nice.¬† He is a perfect fit for our family and we are so happy!!
We have two cats and a hamster named Happy. I’ve always had cats so it was a no brainer to keep them around when we had kids. I’ve always just encouraged the kids to be gentle with the cats and the cats have been very good teachers because they come around the kids so long as they don’t try to pick them up. As soon as they start messing with the cats they get snarky and high tail it away from the kids. The hamster has been an excellent lesson in responsibility. The kids feed her, change her little and let her out for her exercise. I have to remind them lots but they are very good about it.
We have a 5 year old chocolate lab and 2 cats. We did have all of them before we had kids. One of the cats was adopted from the SPCA because we had wanted to have a pet, the other was a stray found at my husband’s work. We chose the dog because I had wanted a chocolate lab and the opportunity came up that there was a pup that needed to be returned to the breeder because the original owner was unable to keep her and we heard about it through a friend. It fell into our lap so it seemed as though it was meant to be. We have taught our kids to only give the pets love – hugs, kisses and gentle pets. Mostly they do not pay a whole lot of attention to any of the pets at this point (the kids are 2 and 3). They can help feed all of the pets and they can help hold the dogs leash on walks.
We got our first family pet in december.¬† I was worried about introducing a pet to the house because I wasen`t sure my kids were ready… especially my 2 year old.¬† We got a Persian kitten.¬† We chose Persian because they`re quite calm cats, and chose to get a kitten because I wanted her to grow up with the kids.¬† I thought bringing in an adult to a house with 4 young kids would be tough on the cat.¬† I had to teach the kids how to treat our cat in the beginning.¬† Sometimes that meant moving the kitten away from them when they were being rough (2year old!).¬† I can`t say that he has learned the lesson completely though as he can still be rough with her, but now the cat is big enough to know how to handle him herself!¬† lol
Yes we have a pet – 2 cats that had been abandoned.¬† We had them before starting our family. (I never would have gotten them after having a baby…as much as I love cats, I find life chaotic enough with a baby…and I could do with the birds being brought in every week.¬† We are working on ensuring Rya knows that she shouldn’t approach animals, but rather let them come to her.¬† And to be gentle…which she is…MOST of the time!
Luckily, we have patient cats.
Yes we have two kitties. ¬†We¬†got our kitties while coping with infertility and repeated pregnancy loss. ¬†We chose our first kitty from a newspaper ad, she’s a PTSD kitty and the owner who had gotten her from a rescue shelter couldn’t keep her anymore.¬† She needed extra love and we had lots. ¬†We got our second kitty from a rescue agency and he picked us.¬† We walked into a room full of cats and he came right to us. ¬†We have done a¬†lot of modeling gentle behaviour, distracting her when she couldn’t understand how to be gentle and removing her from the situation when she’d get too excited for the kitties.¬† She’s 25 months so we still have to do that sometimes.
We have a pet betta fish named Thai, we have had him only for a few months. The kids take turns feeding him and helping me clean the tank. ¬†He is a very low maintenance pet ¬†We don’t plan to get any other pets due to allergies. ¬†Grandma has a dog and a cat, so the kids aren’t missing out.
We have a large black whatchamacallit dog that we found or maybe he found us a few years before we had kids. ¬†He was our second dog at the time. ¬†Although, I have always had a dog, I am not sure that we would have gotten a dog ¬†after children if we did not already have one. ¬† As for the kids learning how to behave around the dog I guess it has been a continual process. ¬†Since we have had a dog since our kids were born they are just used to him being around and have learned to be gentle. Our dog is part of our family and our interactions with him are constant! I would say that the dog has had a harder time learning how to behave around the kids!
We have some fish but that is it. ¬†I am allergic to dogs and cats so we don’t even get into the conversation about pets. ¬†We might wind up upgrading to other reptiles at some point of the kids really want something else and want more responsibility to go with it.