what do you think... do you have experience with this?

Lea - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I would like to get my son a pet for Christmas. He loves animals. He will be a month short of 3 years old. We already have a small dog whom he now treats very well. Hes also about 6 months ahead developmentally. I babysat my friend's cat for 2 weeks but he got too excited and was too rough or chased the cat so my husband says no cat for a while. I was thinking maybe a small aquarium and some goldfish or other kind of fish. If you have experience with this age of kids and pets / fish please tell me what you think. For example, do you think its good for him or not; what is the lifespan of these fish; do you think he could handle it if it died? At one point there was an aquarium in his classroom at daycare but I think it got taken out after too many kids stuck their hands in it.

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Renae - posted on 07/01/2010

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I would just make sure you go with a pet that is low maintenance, you already have a toddler and a dog to look after (and a husband lol).I think pets are great for kids, they are supposed to be excellent for helping kids to learn responsibility and good values like taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves.

Some child psychologists actually recommend getting children a pet with a shortish life span so that their first encounter with death is not that of a human relative such as a grandparent.

I know nothing about the lifespans of fish (though I think gold fish dont live very long) so sorry I cant help there.

It may be that your son is already getting all of the benefits of a pet from your dog. But if you want to get him another pet I see no reason why not.

Katie - posted on 07/01/2010

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For my daughter, who is now 7, we got her a fish tank for her 2nd birthday. She loved it. Until her daddy cleaned the tank and killed the fish. If you start with a 10 gallon tank and just a few fish it isn't very expensive at all. Surprisingly they handle the death of fish very well. And unless you happen to be like my husband and kill all the fish. They can easily be replaced without the child knowing the difference until they get older. Remember though all the reponsibility of any pet will ultimately fall on you. We also got our 9 year old daughter a cat for her kindergarten graduation and my 5 year old son a crab. Mommy takes care of all the animals. The dog, the cat and the crab. My 7 year old wants fish again. I guess it would only be fair a pet for each kid. ( the dog is the baby's)

Tracy - posted on 06/30/2010

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Gold fish are easy, no filtration system needed and as long as you get the generic gold, easily replaced. You could get one of the kits to raise tadpoles too. Small mammals are nice, BUT they can bite. While a dwarf hamster's bite makes me laugh at him, it might hurt your boy's tender skin. Not to mention the jerk-and-drop that's likely to happen. Then your cute fuzzy pet becomes vermin in your pantry. lol Newts are good, as they can be handled and are generally gentle. But they require hand washing. As do turtles. Now, a box tortoise is something that he can literally have until he's an adult.

Amy - posted on 06/30/2010

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My son is 4 when he was 2 my MIL came over with a fish tank and some fish for his 2nd birthday without any warning! We ended up getting a full tank set up with filter since that requires minimal cleaning and purchased another fish. The first fish ended up dieing so we had to go pick out Dorothy #2, he was fine with it. I don't think he fully understood because one morning he got up Dorothy was just gone. By brother in law came to our house the following Christmas with about 10 baby tropical fish that his fish had! So needless to say we had to go out and buy another whole set-up because they required a heated tank. About 7 of the tropical fish ended up dieing and again he ws not really upset There was two occasions in which he was upset about the fish dieing, once in the middle of winter our pellot stove filled the entire house with smoke so we had to leave for the night. We opened all the windows to air out the smoke, when we came home the next morning the fish were "frozen", when we started to warm the tank the goldfish came back to life but the algae eater didn't pull though so we had to make a trip to replace potatoe (oh the names little ones come up with). The other me he was really upset was when we bought the frog "scruchie" for the tank that died, we told him that he had hopped back to his family because he missed them. If you go with fish I would just make sure that the tank is someplace in a common area I wouldn't put it in his room until you know that he's not going to pull the fish out. I would also buy a couple of different fish just in case one does die you may have time to replace it before he notices.

Renee - posted on 06/30/2010

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Fish are nice to have. They are very relaxing and enjoyable to watch. And kids love them but be sure to keep the fish food and supplies out of little hands reach. I would not recommend other pets, he's still too young to understand responsibility and how to properly care and handle another pet. I would say your dog is enough for him right now. I would recommend getting a fish aquarium like Kylie said but hold off on any 4 legged pets for a while.

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you can always do what the other ladies said.. a small pet, minimal care.. i think its nice to teach them how to care for something.. esp if they dont have a sibling yet or whatever.. we have had our cats b4 the boys were born, they were in the house with them for a while, but we found out my first boy has eczema and a slight allergy to cats. go figure.. but when the boys see them outside they pet them nicely, but no more contact than that bc of the allergies present, theyre good with dogs, although we dont have our own.. but yeah a fish or gerbil or somthing would be cool

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When my son was born, we already had our pair of cats. But then when he was 18 months old, a 6 month old street pup adopted us! Boy & dog. But, ultimately the responsibility on our special needs epilectic mutt Hercules falls 100% on me. Hubby & I planned on a dog later on, and going to the shelter, but it didn;t work out that way. My dog was very hard work for the first year, and ultimately with his seizures, meds, vet bills very very expensive. But my 5 year old has been taught about epilepsy and he is good with the dog. He's a lab mix, and by nature labs are friendly family dogs. sorry, no experience with any fish. As a kid, I had a lot of mice, hamsters, & gerbils!

Kylie - posted on 06/30/2010

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Fish are nice to look at and easy to feed and if you have bio filter in your tank cleaning is minimal. I've had fish as pets my whole life. At the moment we have two clown loaches that are older than my kids (almost 8 yrs)..they are so cute and sleep on top of each other, my daughter likes to feed them and they have been a real source of entertainment for both kids. We have bristle nose catfish that we bought to keep the tank clean (they only eat algae) but now they have bred so we have 100 or more babies swimming all over the tank. It's been great for the kids to see them grow. Keeping fish can be expensive to start up..a gold fish in a bowl wont live very long and kids may bored of it so I'd recommend getting the right filter and going for the tropical fresh water fish. You can get all sorts of interesting plastic plants and fake rocks and air filters that make bubbles rise up through the gravel...you can get quite carried away haha.

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