How many of you have pets, and are they burdens with children or a joy to have??

Emily - posted on 12/13/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I have a cat; his name is Wallus and he's not quite a year old and i have one month old son. When we first got Wallus i was 32 weeks pregnant and at first he was a little bit of a handful. Since i gave birth to Easton though he's really calmed down and is great to have with the baby even though many people strongly advise against cats with newborns we keep a close eye on him but i don't think he would hurt a fly. How many of you have pets or did have, and how were they arounnd your children? Also which pets do you think are best for a child to grow up with and have as a lifelong friend?

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Tinker1987 - posted on 12/15/2011

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we had our two dogs for 5 years before our Bouncing baby boy came along,its been a adjustment,i find my dogs a pain sometimes,but when i got them i was commited to a forever home with them so ill make do.

Amanda - posted on 12/15/2011

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We had 2 cats when our daughter was born and one didnt even care that we brought a baby home. He acted like it was completely normal to have a baby in the house. The other cat became very motherly. Everytime the baby would cry she would run up the stairs and go look in the bassinet. She never got into the crib or bassinet with the baby. So that wasnt something that we had to worry about. We would like to get her a dog at some point because we want something that can be a good friend to her and protector. But we have decided that we will wait until she is able to take care of it a little more. like maybe when she is 5 or so.

Janice - posted on 12/15/2011

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When my hubby and I got our dog we weren't even married yet. He was like our baby. When our daughter was born he was almost 7 years old. He seemed okay around her at first just nervous. Now she is a toddler and he grumbles at her way too much. She is occasionally a bit rough but usually quite gentle yet he hates her unless she has food. We have a newborn now and he just turned 9. He is underfoot non-stop and its rough trying to take care of a baby and keep the dog and toddler separated in our small apt. So my dog has definitely become a major burden over the past 2 years.

I think its best for animals to be fairly young when brought into a family with children. My dog was too old and spoiled to accept children. We are dog lovers in my family, hubby dislikes cats greatly, but I think both dogs and cats can be great childhood companions depending on the animals personality.

Jennifer - posted on 12/15/2011

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My house is a zoo. Lol I have 4 kids, 2 cats, and 1 dog. We currently have an outside cat as well, but soon she will be making a trip to a center. We live in the country, and apparently live in a good place for people to just drop off their unwanted animals like pieces of garbage. The outside cat was dropped off about 2 months ago and was so skinny. We fed her, because I refuse to let an animal starve to death, and have been working on trying to find a good home. We haven't been able to find a good home, and are getting sick of trying to chase her out of the house every time we open a door, so she will go. Our inside animals are wonderful. One cat is 5, and can be a witch, but is a complete softie when it comes to my 1 year old. The other cat is 1 and he is so cuddly and playful. The dog is 7, but we have only had him for a month or so. He is the best do ever. He is full blooded chocolate lab and a sweet heart. Just the other night my 6 year old had a fever and he refused to leave her side all night.

Crysta - posted on 12/15/2011

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I have a Shih Tzu, and he LOVES little babies I had him long before I got pregnant with my son but they don't really pay much attention to each other. I am currently 39 weeks pregnant and we have gotten another Shih Tzu, and my son, now almost 2 doesn't really care that she is here although they do play together a little more often since she is still a puppy. I think it is good to expose children to animals ealry on and teach them to be kind and gentle to more than just people.

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Melissa - posted on 02/07/2012

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We have 4 dogs, 2 rabbits and 1 lovebird. For the most part it is absolutely awesome. The kids are learning responsibility and compassion and a whole lot about how to act around dogs. It really pays off if we see a strange dog somewhere. Instead of running around, ducking on the ground and squealing my two year old stands very calmly and waits for the dog to sniff him. Of course there are days when it is a lot but I think we just accept that and know that we aren't perfect either! One tip with dogs in particular: We have found through trial and many, many errors that it is best for the dogs to see the children as leaders and not as little toys. By establishing a few boundaries we have discovered a wonder, magical bond between the children and pets.

Tiffany - posted on 02/06/2012

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I have two girls age two and a nine month old I also have a 7 yr old dog and just got a puppy for my two year old daughter. She loves her puppy. The puppy is a little rough sometime with her but yet she loves him. the nine month old acts like she dont care too much for him yet. like I said he is a puppy and always wants to play. I think dogs are bes but I guess I say that because I myself dont like cats. It's your choice this is just my opinion.

Karen - posted on 02/06/2012

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BURDEN!!! 100%!



I have a 5 year old English bulldog that I love to pieces. He has a condition called Megaesophagus which causes him to regurgitate his food if he doesn't sit down for 10 minutes after each meal. I make him sit down, but he still occasionally gets a hold of toddler snacks or something he isn't supposed to have. Its an endless battle to keep my carpet clean and puke/drool free. He also sometimes leaves skid marks on walls when he props himself up against them, sigh.



I also have 2 cats who are too old to get rid of. I have no emotional attachment to them, but I feel like getting rid of them at their old age would be cruel. They live their lives, destroying my couch/chairs, puking on my rugs, dirtying my counter tops, shredding garbage bags to get to left overs. Today I woke up to find an entire roll of paper towels shredded in the living room floor. Both of these cats are over 10 years old and still act like kittens.



After these guys pass, I am taking a much needed break from having pets. I have had pets my entire life, so I have never known what it was like to have a fresh smelling home. There is always a cat pooping in the litter box when its fresh, or bulldog farts in the air.



Thanks for asking this question! I feel like venting has just made me feel a little bit better LOL! We call our act "The Sherman family circus" because there is NEVER a dull moment around here.

Medic - posted on 02/05/2012

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We have an 8 year old, 65 pound, bull dog/shar pei mix. He is a blessing...so easy...so well behaved...and soooo protective over our kids. He follows them everywhere and watches out for our 2 year old so she does not get hurt.

Jodi - posted on 02/05/2012

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We have a long haired tabby cat. His name is Chester, we got him when my first born was 18 months old. We went to get a dog...but when I saw his beautiful gold eyes looking at me, I asked if he could come out of the cage. He went straight to my daughter and started purring. She was great with him too. He has been a GREAT addition to our family. He is super calm, he's great with my now 1 year old twin girls and my nearly 3 year old daughter. Usually, he just lays there as they pet him, perhaps a bit roughly, but nicely none the less, or gets up and leaves if things get too rambunctious for him. But, I would give him back to the shelter in a heart beat if I thought he posed a threat to our children or acted like he could. As it is, we love him and he loves us and is part of our family.

Christina - posted on 02/05/2012

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100% blessing, having a pet teaches a child about nurturing, responsibility (as they get older), unconditional love, respect, leadership, the list goes on and on. . . . great things to teach, and well, ya might have to vacuum more, and feed them, but well worth it!!!!

Kylie - posted on 01/13/2012

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my 4yrold son and our 16wk tenterfield terrier dont get along too well, well its my son which doesnt listen to us on how to handle and look after the puppy, he stomps near him, pulls his tail, pulls him around, pulls his legs, throws his toys near him or dog toys, and more, but now i think the dog is more aggressive towards my son sometimes and fighting back and doesnt tollerate too much! So im fighting between them, and i dont know what to do, they both need attention but i have to seperate them too!

Nicole Fox - posted on 01/13/2012

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We have 2 cats and a dog. The cats I had for 6 years prior to the baby and they are great with him. The male cat literally lets the baby roll on him and he just sits there. He is also 20 lbs and probably a bit starved for attention since the dog and baby came into the picture, so we think he basically takes what he can get with respect to attention at this point. lol. The female cats is very curious with him, but would rather walk away once the baby gets excited.

The dog, on the other hand, is a lot of work. We rescued him when I was 5 months pregnant and he was a 12 week old puppy. He is a black lab/ pitbull mix and about 70 lbs. He needs A LOT of attention and exercise, which can be exhusting. The baby is 7 months old now and the dog is a little over a year, which is really still a puppy. I grew up with German Shepards, so I know dogs are work, but mine is a real handful. We love him and he is good with the baby, but I work with him constantly. I always say that I have 2 babies because he is just as much, if not more, work than my son.

We love him and would never get rid of him and I think eventually he will be awesome and a great friend to my son, if I don't go nuts in the process, but if I had to do over, I probably wouldn't get a dog until my child was older. I think animals are great for children to grow up with, but I really think that cats are easier in every respect. They are pretty much self reliant, where as dogs are very reliant on you for everything.

Joanne - posted on 01/12/2012

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We had an 18 year old cat and have a young cat and a sausage dog. The older cat was a problem she used to drive us nuts whenever the babies would cry she would yowl. My second child would not stop crying due to not enough breast milk and colic and heaven only knows what else. The cat would not stop. My sister-in-law kindly took her into her loving home for the remaining 3 years where she was treated like a queen. She also saved me from ending up in the nut house (thank you sis-in-law).

The rest were super cool about the children. There was only two tail pulling episodes and that was it. Try not leave a mobile infant or toddler alone with the animals as they tend to be a bit rough. As soon as they understand that it hurts, children will stop the squashing, pulling and pinching.

Dogs and cats all have personalities and breed traits you need to see if they will cope with the change.

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2012

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We have a dog, 3 ferrets, and 2 birds. They're a lot of fun most of the time. Our dog is probably the most child tolerant animal I have ever had. Not all dogs are, it's just her temperament. The kids have a lot of fun with the dog. The ferrets are pretty tolerant as well. We've really gotten lucky on that one because some ferrets are not kid friendly at all. The kids, the dog and the ferrets all like to chase each other around the house. I think because ferrets are a gamble personality wise with kids I probably wouldn't have them if we didn't have them before we had kids. The dog has is great for being a life long friend. We got her when my son was 2 and my middle daughter was a few months old. She came from a house with kids in it so there wasn't really any adjustment for her. The birds are kind of there. The kids can't play with them so they don't pay any attention to them.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2012

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We got our cat, Owen, when my son was 1 year old. We had our daughter about 10 months later. We had Owen declawed when he was neutered (I know, a double insult) because he had scratched our son a few times. The vet had said that Owen was being playful with our son (both being toddlers). Having said that, now that he's declawed, he will bite if he feels threatened. We have taught our children to not chase him, throw things at him, pull his tail, etc. Our son is 3 now and we have taught him how to feed and water the cat and now that's his "chore." Owen has NEVER been aggressive with my daughter. In fact, he's very protective of her, will stay under her crib until she's asleep, be the first there if she cries, etc. I love having a cat for my kids. I think it teaches them patience, empathy, and love. We had a parrot as well (he passed away this last July). My son didn't pay a whole lot of attention to him but sure asked a lot of questions when he passed. It was hard having to explain death to a 3 year old. I won't look forward to that again one day when the cat passes away.

Vegemite - posted on 12/18/2011

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We have 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. Everyone gets on fine. We find it's very important not to spoil the animals. If they know their place as pets they are much happier and less of a hassle.

When the boys were little babies still in cots we would keep their bedroom doors closed at all times so the cats couldn't get in. We started this as soon as we found out we were pregnant so they were used to not having access to the kids rooms. Now the boys are older the cats sleep at the foot of the kids beds.
The dogs have made a natural adjustment but we did do things like putting the pram out so they were used to that. We took a new hand towel into hospital and got the smell of the baby on it then my husband brought it home for the dogs to have. We alway held the babies above the dogs and had ourselves between the dogs and kids, this lets the dogs know that the kids are higher in rank than they are.

As long as the pets are made to be at the bottom of the rung then they are just fine with whatever happens in our house. It is very important to do this in a way that isn't neglecting the pets in anyway.

Emily - posted on 12/14/2011

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I just wanted to say thanks for all the replies i got i've loved reading them all, we've thought about getting a dog but i think it would be overwhelming to have two pets at once and a newborn but i have learned after reading all these i think that it depends on the pet how he/she acts with children it kinda has to do with their individual personality.

Jenna - posted on 12/14/2011

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We have a dog that we had before we had kids (we have five). He can be kind of a pain, especially when he's aching for attention and I've got my hands full with issues with the kids, but he's been great with the kids and the kids just love them. I will be very sorry when he finally dies, as he's getting up there in years.

Bernadette - posted on 12/14/2011

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unfortunately, ours have become a bit of a burden. We had three dogs prior to having kids. Not small dogs either. Two mastiffs and a greyhound/kelpie cross. All very nice dogs, but too big to have together. They are definitely not inside dogs, never have been even before the kids came along. The Kelpie cross we weren't even meant to have - someone just left her with us after they decided a new puppy was too much of a handful. Never mind that we already had two new puppies ourselves (who were also a handful) and our council by-laws will only allow two dogs per household. Anyway, it was ok, they grew up liking each other and once our asshole neighbour moved out (he kept reporting us to council) things improved a lot. But since the kids came along one of the mastiffs has become VERY protective of them. And the keplie cross, who has that working dog mentality and is fiercly loyal to her masters (my husband and I). She has seen the kids as imposters and while she has never shown any agression towards them (in fact, she just refuses to look at them - if we put them right in front of her, she turns her head so that she can still only see us) and the mastiff has taken it upon herself to protect the kids from her. They have had such huge fights that they are permanently scarred and we have to keep them seperated at all times. This is a burden, as one has to be locked in the kennel while the other is out, and then there is a 'swap over' every day. And even that can be stressful, we have to make sure one doesn't accidentally slip through during the change over. We still love them, and the mastiffs would be great with the kids if we could let them out there without worrying about dog fights. We are currently looking for a new home for the kelpie cross. Very sad, as we've had her for about 5 years and she has been a great dog. Just not for very little children. She'd be great with teenagers I think.

Aarin - posted on 12/14/2011

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When my son was born in the house we had 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 guinea pigs & fish *20 gallon*.
They are all awesome around him and we wouldn't have it any other way! We also have 9 horses, 2 minis and 5 bred cows.

Linda - posted on 12/14/2011

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A had to get rid of my cat after my second son was born as he started urinating everywhere,but now have 2 cats and 3 kids and the cats are great with them,a think they are brilliant animals to have in the house.

Michelle - posted on 12/14/2011

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I had dogs for ten years before we had our first child. I've never thought it was a burden only a blessing. Since my oldest was born we have lost all three that she and her sister grew up with. Just within the last year we have adopted two dogs. Bo a pit bull and Sophie a boxer. ANd I agree with the mom below. Even tho my girls are 13 and 10. I still supervise when the dogs are with them. Our boxer had a thorn in her foot and when she jump on my daughters bed she yelped and snapped. We calmed her down and took the thorn out her her foot. She is not a bad dog...just lacked the ability to tell us she was hurting in another way. I think dogs are wonderful companions for children. We have everything from hairless rats to bearded dragons. Dogs are the best!!

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I have a dog (but shoosh Jeze thinks she's human), and she is marvellous with children, and loves my grandkids too, HOWEVER, I never leave her alone with any child no matter how old, because children are unpredictable and a happy interaction can turn sour within seconds. A child doesn't understand that pulling a tail or ears can bring great pain to any animal, they don't understand that this 'fun' can cause a dog to growl or a cat to hiss and scratch. After all animals cannot talk, and the growl etc is their warning. If you're bringing a baby into a house with a pet already in residence, take the time to socialise the pet with the new addition, don't suddenly lock the pet out of the house, that will only cause distress to your pet and it will not understand what is happening. Yes, you'll hear all sorts of horror stories over what diseases can be transferred to your new baby by animals, but in reality a pet that is healthy and regularly visits a vet and is up to date with all its vaccinations is no more danger than the child being left to sleep outside in its pram. So I would introduce the baby to your pet as soon as you bring it home, of course don't let it lie on top of the baby, but don't restrict its sniffing etc, that is how it learns what this new thing is. I know with Jeze, she gets very agitated when a baby is crying, perhaps she relates that to a pup in need, but she definitely is trying to help...this is why its important that a pet and a baby should never be left alone...after all a babies skin is far less able to handle being carried by a dog trying to help, and it will tear and bleed...so make sure that you're there to assist the baby and congratulate the pet for letting you know that baby was distressed. My grandson who has just turned one is learning that Jeze is not like other dogs he's had experience with, that she won't run past him and knock him over, but will sit and allow him to pat her. My grand daughter who is 3 and a half has loved putting Jeze's lead on and taking her for a walk around the house or yard now for over a year, but again, neither of them are never left alone with Jeze, I am always there to supervise and stop anything unfortunate happening. Never assume any dog will not snarl or snap if left with a child of any age, after all they can't tell the child to stop any other way. God bless.

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We had 2 cats when my daughter was born. We had to get rid of one. The cat couldn't handle sharing attention. So we found her a really good home with lots of children and some dogs to keep her happy. The other cat... she's interesting, a bit skitish, but she has never once scratched or bit our daughter. She's a heavy allergy cat though. So we don't let her in our daughter's room.

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