Anonymous asked in PetsOther - Pets · 1 decade ago

having pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, etc..) in a house with small children?

My husband and I were wondering, in your opinion

what are the pros and cons of having pets in a house with small children?

pets such as hamsters, dogs, cats, ect...

Our opinions differ slightly:

Being raised on a rescue farm, my father had me around all sorts of farm animals from a very young age, even as a toddler

As soon as I could walk, I was following my father around the barn watching him and helping with what I was able to help with...whether that was fetching water or holding a can of feed while he checked the hen's nests for eggs...

Of course I was supervised with the chickens and the dogs and other all other animals until I was old enough to understand that I needed to wash my hands after touching them; I also was supervised in handling of the animals and only allowed to handle them in an age appropriate manner

And as a result I'd like to think that I grew up more responsible, more compassionate as a result

My husband on the other hand had a very limited number of pets growing up, most of which were not in his care even when he grew older

However, as married adults, we share and love our fur-babies; we have 4 hamsters and one cat, all of which he plays with and cares for just as much as I do. I often catch him sitting in the play-pen with one fur-ball or another when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Man, he loves those little fluffies!

But at the same time he worries that having pets around small children might be a problem. He worries that having furry pets, like a dog or a cat might make our child more prone to asthma. Or that a pet like a hamster might carry some disease and transfer it to our child...

Now, I feel that if properly monitored that keeping pets would be beneficial to a child. The extra dirt around might even help boost their immune system (you don't expose them to things like germs when they are young, they are more likely to have a poor immune system as they grow older).

He worries that having pets around will make them ill.

We do however agree that pets would be an excellent way of teaching responsiblity and compassion...

We also feel that having pets is a good way of teaching about death, (its how my dad did it).

so whats your opinion?

what are the pros and cons of pet ownership for parents of small children?

including health risks/benefits and emotional risks/benefits?

(just to clarify, we're not fighting, just trying to find a comprimise and curious as to what other parents opinions might be)


should also mention, we are pregnant right now, due in January and both very excited

Update 2:

also forgot to mention,

I've been working with the Humane Society for most of my life, since my father owns a rescue; I also have worked as a professional groomer and am currently taking courses to become a veterinary technician (graduate in 3 years) so proper animal care would not be an issue

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My brother, sister and I grew up with animals as well. Dogs, cats, rabbits, finches, parrot, tree frog, fish...we had a lot of pets. Some are even still with us today. I can tell you we were the healthiest kids around. We probably got sick once a year when we all got older because of the school year when we caught the cold from classmates. That is where all the germs come from.

    I now work in a pet store and it's so sad when kids, who are ten years old, come in for their first pet. They don't know how to behave towards the animals.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They are great friends to children and help their development. I strongly recommend having pets in the house with children. But make sure you get the right pet, pittbulls are very risky along with pinchers and chows. But a nice mix would be great, Rats are better than hamsters because they don't stink, they are smarter, and more friendly, rabbits are good. Acctually, being around them from an early age can help build up immunity to asthma and other illnesses. Please do have your children around pets, this is a gift that can give them a much better life.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have a 3 1/2 year old ad we have 2 doxies, 2 mice, 1 tort and a guinea pig. I think with having these pets it gives him a "job " and he will help out with them(clean, Feed and Play) and our saying is s a little dirt wont hurt

  • 1 decade ago

    Kids love pets, you should get them one. I had a cat when I was young and I loved it! Big dogs are also good because they are usually very carefull and flayfull with little kids and they love them. But I think it is a good idea for a kid to have a pet.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you.....I have 2 children and we have always had animals. My doctor told me that if you have animals and your allergic to them the only way to get over being allergic to them is to be around them. If you go get allergy shot they inject you with the thing you are allergic to. I have an autistic son who has asthma and we have had rabbits, dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets all in the house and he has been fine with them and I think it really teaches them responsibility.........

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