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  1. #11
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We have had a whole host of "small animals". My favorite was the guinea pigs since they were good to snuggle with. The biggest downside was that they poop...a lot. A cage with fleece that you vacuum daily was the best way to keep the poop under control. However, when a DC was in a funk I would just plop a pig on their lap and walk away, it usually worked to resolve the funk . Rabbits would work well for this, as well. With the added bonus that they can be litter trained. We have not had a rabbit, but they are amazing pets.

    We had a hamster who was amazing. He was also a "carry around the house" creature, but was not the norm. Our second hamster would run and hide anytime he was out. DC loved them both.

    We currently have gerbils who are fun, but not portable or terribly "loveable". They are cute and, unlike hamster, are not nocturnal so they are better to keep in a bedroom.

    The gerbil and hamster cages are/were cleaned weekly.

    We also have a parakeet that we rescued. DC LOVES him and begged for him a few years ago. He is our "escape artist" so we have to be careful about locking the cage. His favorite place is the top of DC's head. They let him out of the cage, he does about three laps around the house and then settles on DC's head. His cage is cleaned about once a week, but it just consists of changing the paper and wiping up any real messy spots. It takes less than 10 minutes. He does need fresh water daily.

    The beta fish were a favorite in this house for a LONG time. We only had a couple, but they tended to live awhile. As far as aquatics, I feel like we have done it all. From the failed salt water tank, to the 80 gallon goldfish tank that sprung a leak, to a 20 gallon tank with two beautiful fantails that we had up for about 6 years. At one point, we had 4 tanks at various locations in the house ! If you have a beta tank, a snail is a fun addition.

    DC's dream pet is rats. I have said "no", due to the tail (for some reason the gerbil tail is okay, but the rat tail isn't). They are planning on a pair of rats when they have their own place. I have heard they are amazing pets. A friend had one and was devastated when her child took the rat with her to her first apartment.

    We have a dog who was best buds with one of the guinea pigs for awhile. He is not too sure about the bird when the cage is open, but otherwise is fine with him.

    Have fun and do a LOT of research. DC originally wanted a turtle, until we realized that you needed at least and 80 gallon tank and a heat lamp.

    PM me if you want more information. DC is involved in some "pet groups" so I know a lot more than I ever thought I would

  2. #12
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    I think rats make the best pet of all the pocket pets. They’re really smart and relatively long lived. They can do vertical cage space so the overall footprint of their cage can be smaller.

    Currently we have a guinea pig. They really should be kept in multiples, but one of ours died and I didn’t want to get trapped into a cycle of always needing to get another to keep the remaining one company so sadly ours is alone. DD (who is the owner) is now mildly allergic so that’s especially a reason to not get into a cycle of replacing each one. I actually really like the piggy but they need a ton of space if kept properly, and fresh treats for vitamin C. It’s much more my pet and responsibility than it was meant to be.

    I had hamsters growing up and they really are not long lived (a few years is a great long life) and they can be loud at night. We never really thought much of pulling them out if we wanted to play with them but I guess they are a bit out of sight, out of mind during the day.
    momma to DD 12/08 & DS 3/13

  3. #13
    ang79 is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Had to go to the pet store for dog food tonight so DD2 came along and talked to one of the PetSmart employees about different animals. He got out a leopard gecko, gerbil, and hamster to show her. She also really likes the birds. She is now researching gerbils, parakeets, and canariesÖÖ. I bag was a feeling this is going way beyond the Beta DD1 got!

    The dog does love to chase squirrels and chipmunks outside. If we were to get a new pet, it will live in DD2ís bedroom. If she is cleaning the cage or playing with it the door must be kept shut. The dog only goes in the girls bedrooms when they are in there (we have a baby gate blocking off their end of the house and laundry room from the dog so that the cat can eat in peace and escape to the girlsí rooms if the dog chases her).


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  4. #14
    ged is online now Gold level (500+ posts)
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    We settled on a single hand-fed budgie from a local bird store. One hand-fed budgie cost $99, while a pair of parakeets from pet smart is about$80? A single bird will bond more to you, the human, and a hand-fed one will let you hold him, etc. I was shocked with how much a tiny bird can poop, but he is DD2's (11 y.o.) pet , and she is doing great with cleaning out the cage and changing water. I'm kinda a neat freak, so still not loving how some of the bird seed gets out of the cage, feathers here and there, but it's in pretty much contained to a small corner of the living room. DD2 takes the bird out a few times a day and plays with him (but only downstairs, on the hardwood ... not carpet). We set Alexa to play music when we're gone for school/work. He doesn't really fly much yet - and honestly not sure if we'll trim his flight wings or not. Maybe. We take him back to the pet shop every 6-8 weeks for a free trimming, as needed. Idk much more about the bird - we're learning as we're going. I had to buy a costco box of baby wipes for the first time in years bc of how often he pooped/pee'd and how I want DD2 to wipe up any spills, etc. as often as possible.

  5. #15
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Think I mixed your two DDs in my head and thought this was for a 16th birthday, and at that age they are (most likely) leaving for college in two years.

    Depending on your DD2s age and the lifespan of the pet, just keep in mind that you may end up being the one to take care of it when she goes away to college. It is a nice incentive to come back home for visits!

    Birds can be awesome pets. It sounds like your DD is very open minded and will love whatever animal buddy she bonds with. I do think animals are wonderful to have for kidsí (or adults) emotional well being.

  6. #16
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    KpbS is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I would definitely recommend a rabbit, but not if you have a dog. Rabbits are wonderful, quiet, clean pets. They can be litterbox trained also.
    K

  7. #17
    wallawala is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    We had a hamster for about 4 months. DD picked him out and the store tried to get us to switch to new baby one (they brought out a tupperware bin with lots) but nope she wanted the "floor model". I think he was old as died in his sleep 4 months later. He only bit me once, and learned to be handled after that. He was a great little dude, and put up with my DD and DS playing with him on their schedule not his. They are better solitary rodents.

    He was replaced by 2 gerbils (better social animals, so get littermates and get 2). One lasted a year, the other 2.5 years. They were not as cuddly or patient as the hamster and we moved to reptiles after that...

    Now we have leopard gecko. We bought him full grown, so established good eater. He is nocturnal but very chill. Needs a little more equipment than rodents (heated pad for one side of tank, humidity monitor, uses reptile carpet for bedding, calcium supplement), but easy to figure out with a few youtube videos. They have tiny teeth, so can't hurt you if it's a biter. The downside is these only eat live bugs, so need to have a constant supply of crickets, roaches, or worms. Roaches are expensive, but SO much easier than crickets- which I've decided are the nastiest, foul-smelling, quick dying, loud MF'ers ever. HATE crickets now. Leopard geckos don't eat veggies, so you can't cheat from the fridge if you run out of food. I've started ordering roaches off amazon as the only pet store that consistently carries them is the next city over with crap parking- so it's an hour and a half excursion. Not sure what we are going to do this winter as roaches won't survive the porch if UPS drops off when we are at work/school. Also, leopard geckos live generally 20-25 years so this is a LONG commitment!

    We had everything growing up in my house.... guinea pigs, mice, gerbils, rabbits (my favorite, but need to be outside IMHO, and we live in MN now so that's a no go), tarantulas, many many lizards, and a 25 foot python-- not all at the same time of course, but my mom was a saint!

  8. #18
    ang79 is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallawala View Post
    We had a hamster for about 4 months. DD picked him out and the store tried to get us to switch to new baby one (they brought out a tupperware bin with lots) but nope she wanted the "floor model". I think he was old as died in his sleep 4 months later. He only bit me once, and learned to be handled after that. He was a great little dude, and put up with my DD and DS playing with him on their schedule not his. They are better solitary rodents.

    He was replaced by 2 gerbils (better social animals, so get littermates and get 2). One lasted a year, the other 2.5 years. They were not as cuddly or patient as the hamster and we moved to reptiles after that...

    Now we have leopard gecko. We bought him full grown, so established good eater. He is nocturnal but very chill. Needs a little more equipment than rodents (heated pad for one side of tank, humidity monitor, uses reptile carpet for bedding, calcium supplement), but easy to figure out with a few youtube videos. They have tiny teeth, so can't hurt you if it's a biter. The downside is these only eat live bugs, so need to have a constant supply of crickets, roaches, or worms. Roaches are expensive, but SO much easier than crickets- which I've decided are the nastiest, foul-smelling, quick dying, loud MF'ers ever. HATE crickets now. Leopard geckos don't eat veggies, so you can't cheat from the fridge if you run out of food. I've started ordering roaches off amazon as the only pet store that consistently carries them is the next city over with crap parking- so it's an hour and a half excursion. Not sure what we are going to do this winter as roaches won't survive the porch if UPS drops off when we are at work/school. Also, leopard geckos live generally 20-25 years so this is a LONG commitment!

    We had everything growing up in my house.... guinea pigs, mice, gerbils, rabbits (my favorite, but need to be outside IMHO, and we live in MN now so that's a no go), tarantulas, many many lizards, and a 25 foot python-- not all at the same time of course, but my mom was a saint!
    We looked at the leopard geckos at PetSmart (and the employee said they are good first time pets), but DD does not want to have to feed live bugs. My brother had a lizard when we were kids and he liked live flies so we spent a lot of time in the summer trying to catch flies for him, lol.


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  9. #19
    ang79 is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by KpbS View Post
    I would definitely recommend a rabbit, but not if you have a dog. Rabbits are wonderful, quiet, clean pets. They can be litterbox trained also.
    Yes, I had a lop eared rabbit as a kid. He was litter trained. Only problem with having him inside was that he liked to chew on electrical cords.


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  10. #20
    ang79 is offline Ruby level (4000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Think I mixed your two DDs in my head and thought this was for a 16th birthday, and at that age they are (most likely) leaving for college in two years.

    Depending on your DD2s age and the lifespan of the pet, just keep in mind that you may end up being the one to take care of it when she goes away to college. It is a nice incentive to come back home for visits!

    Birds can be awesome pets. It sounds like your DD is very open minded and will love whatever animal buddy she bonds with. I do think animals are wonderful to have for kidsí (or adults) emotional well being.
    It is for my younger daughter, soon to be 13. The older one (15) is perfectly happy with her beta fish. I know DD2 is hesitant to get a pet that may only live a few years (she is super sensitive about animals and really struggled when we lost 2 of our cats), but I donít really want a pet that Iíll be caring for when she goes to college (that would probably actually be incentive for her to live at home and commute but DH really wants our kids to leave the nest and gain that independence that comes with living away from home in the college dorms).

    I just read that a pet store in a neighboring town has a bird rescue, that may be something to look into. She may also be Ok with getting a small aquatic pet like a frog.


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