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How old did your children have to be before they were allowed to have pets?

Posted by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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We are considering getting a dog for our kids. He would be the responsibility of the kids as far as feeding/watering, cleaning up after, playing with and walking. Obviously we would help out, but they would pretty much be responsible for a pet.

They have simple chores at home that they know that they are responsible for doing and they do.

We think they are responsible enough for a pet but I would like others input on how old their kids were before getting a pet and what are they responsible for.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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by Michelle on Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

We've always had pets. We got a dog a few years ago, I think my dd was 7? Now she's 11 and helps with her, feeds, lets out.

by Jennifer on Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I would think around 6 is a good age to start with. It teaches them responsibility.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 4:58 PM
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I was exposed to pets since birth. I kicked out my favorite cat. It was hard, but I knew the risk of having a litter box and germs exposure was not worth the risk. I didn't allow my daughter to be around my cat and dog till she was 2. Now I allow her to help me feed them treats and food once and a while. I think 2yrs is a good enough age to start teaching them responsibility of pets. 

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 7:58 PM
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We had a dog when my son was 2. We loved having a dog. I wouldn't let it be a chore though. Pets are for the family not for a child. There are lots of other chores that can be but not pets. 

by Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 9:04 PM

I grew up with family pets but I didn't have my own pet until i was 6 or 7 and able to take care of it myself.  I got my very own hamster which I named Pepper and I loved it so much and it taught me a lot about responsibility!

by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:17 AM

I grew up since age 3 with cats. Always did the litter. I had cats on my own too. When my son was born there were 3 cats already. When he was 3 we got fish. At 9 we got gerbils and again at 12. At age 10 we got a gecko. I had worked at an animal hospital for 17 years so my son was exposed to all kinds of stuff.  He is 13 now and cares for the fish and gerbils. Although he has lost interest, I consider everything my pets but I need his help! As for the cats we havent gotten him to do litter because I do it when I get up first thing. I even let the cats climb around in his crib while I was pregnant. I let them sniff him has a newborn. As for dogs, they require more care. It really depends on your kids personalities if they are ready. You can always ask a neighbor if your kids can walk their dog a few times or take in a foster dog for a couple months thru the local shelter. Then make a decision. You have to be very careful chosing the right breed as for what you can manage. You dont want a breed that is a hearding dog if you dont plan to walk it a few times a day, for example. Your family can even take a dorky class at the shelter and other places to learn responsibility before hand.

by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM
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I had pets before children , so I'mnot much help. I will say, nix a puppy and go through a shelter or rescue to skip potty training too much. Research breeds , crates, food choices, all of it. Don't do this blind.
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM

My son is 5 and can feed and water the dogs, the cats, and can feed his fish. 

He does not always have to feed the animals, only when I ask him to or when he offers... and he does not clean up the poop 

by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:52 AM
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We got our minature dauschund when my son was 2. He is almost 4 now and they inseperable. Why will it mostly be their responsibility? Why not make it a family affair? Each person has a way they help the dog out. One person feeds, one cleans up poop, you can all play with the dog and take family walks together. I would rotate the feeding and poop cleaning because i know i would hate to clean up poop all the time. Our dog always has his food bowl full and he nibbles here and there when he is hungry. Our son will tell us if his food bowl is empty and then goes and fills it. We fill the water. He loves giving him his treats after he goes to the bathroom too. We have a fenced in yard where he gets lots of running in so walks arent a big deal for him and we all play with him as well as he entertains himself with his toys too. I would do a lot of research on dog breeds. I was never a fan of little dogs but after having one i love that his poop is small and easy to clean up and he doesnt eat a lot which saves on food. He also barely sheds. He does bark a lot though. We got him as a puppy and he is amazing with our son. They are best buddies.

by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:55 AM
He has always had a pet around. he helps feed our 3 cats. Mouse is his.
He is 5 and autistic and named his cat Mouse when we first got the kitten at 1.5 wks old and bottle fed him.
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