Kids and Pets

My little boy is 8 years old and he wold like for his father and I to get him a pet for Christmas. I would like to get him something that requires minimal responsibility. Dogs and cats are out. I am thinking more along the lines of pets that can be contained in some sort of cage or small tank.

Some ideas that I have so far are lizard, gold fish, snapping turtles, etc.

Keep in mind that I am also looking for a pet that will not be to expensive to purchase and maintain.

What has been your experience with children and pets? I would love to hear your ideas and experiences both good and bad.


  1. Allison Southerland says

    Hi there – just stumbled about your blog one day, and have been hooked ever since! I think you’re wonderful. Anyway, I would like to add my 2 cents here. We have always had guinea pigs and they are so easy to care for! We purchased our latest guinea for $25, the cage was about $40, bedding is $5 for a big bag (pine) and the cage gets changed once a week. Food is just $2 a bag and lasts a couple of months for one guinea. Also, we give her carrots and parsley sprigs as treats and that covers their Vitamin C needs. Other than trimming their nails and bathing every couple of weeks, that’s it! They are sweet, sociable (squeaking and purring and ‘popcorn’ jumping). They love attention, and are just delightful. I hope this helps!


  2. Anonymous says

    What about Guinea pigs? I've heard they are very nice, & mostly rather docile. Maybe a hamster too. We had a dog once. Bad timing for our family. Someone gave it to us (it was a stray in their yard). It was a very nice dog, but was a breed that needed a job, & absent that, she herded my children! I think we're a cat family, really. We've had our cat over 10 years now, & he's a great fit. But I agree that it is more work to look after than, say, a fish or turtle. Good luck! :o)



  3. Divamom says

    I love animals from a distance, but I only had fish growing up. Betas are really pretty and low maintenance, but there are only certain fish they can be in a tank with. Ask the pet store associates. Hermit crabs seem easy to take care of and don’t take up a lot of space.


  4. GritsGirl says

    I would go with a fish or hermit crab for starters. Gerbils and hamsters in my opinion require more work than dogs or cats because you have to clean there cages out and they tend to stink. Check your local animal shelter though.. the one where i live has other pets besides dogs and cats.


  5. mary grace says

    Jo raises rabbits. They live in wire cages that have removable trays for easy cleaning. They have also been friendly and eager to be played with … but just fine to be left alone, too. Jo has mini rex rabbits as well as creme d’argent. The mini rex are very popular as pets, I understand.


  6. Hadias says

    Cats are easy, but it’s just that seem to get the ones who lie to pee everywhere but their litter box.

    Also, with my sons allergies I’d rathe not get a cat since they often shed.


  7. Colleen says

    We’ve had everything from birds, dogs, fish, gerbils, chameleons… my favorite is the hermit crab.
    Love them! Easy maintenance and fun to watch. Whatever you pick, good luck!


  8. Earthmommy says

    You name it, we’ve had it! Dogs, cats, birds, fish, rabbits, mice, hamsters. (I had to draw the line at rats and snakes!)

    It really depends on how responsible your son is and how much you are willing to pick up his slack. Out of all our pets, the rabbits were my favorite. They can become very tame and affectionate, but they do need lots of love and attention and you kind of have to bunny proof your home because they chew everything! The birds were super fun too if you get one that’s been hand raised and is tame, but they are kind of high maintenance.

    A small beta fish might be a good choice, since they are about the most low maintenance pets you can get.

    Hope this helps!


  9. Dawn Sodini says

    We have almost always had pets. Usually dogs but we have also had rabbits, birds- several kinds, and a hampster. To this point our children that are old enough to be responsible are not always in our household. However, our younger ones both help. The five year old handles food and water most of the time with gentle reminders, of course. The two year old can let the dog in and out from the house to the fenced yard whenever we ask him too. You know your children and what they can handle. Our 5 year old succussfully enjoyed a hampster at 18 mo however, I would not consider that with my 30 mo old son. Thanks for helping me count my blessings this morning!


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