The Country Life Forum

Discuss all aspects of country living, from farming and animal welfare, to sustainable living, organic farming, and fishing.


childs pet

We have two dogs, two farm cats, horses, ponies, chickens, ducks and geese and now my daughter (11yrs) wants a small furry pet.
Ive had gerbils, mice and fish in the past and im not so fussed on getting more as I feel the novelty will wear off quicker with them as there is a limit on entertainment.
Daughter has looked at hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits. it would mean that while she is holding/playing with any of these the dogs would have to be shut in utility for fear of being eaten and this could limit handling time.
Im leaning towards Ferrets as they are more versatile eg can travel in car, she can spend hours down in a stable making play areas with tubes and boxes and can it/they can come on days out etc or can they ?
My two dogs are a soft easy going lab x bitch and jr male who likes to think hes tough by chasing the cats but is scared as hell of the bantam hen and squeels if she runs at him. With proper introduction and supervision can they be get along with a ferret ?
Any thoughts or advice ?

little chick
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

I dont know about ferrets but my dogs are good with our Guinea pigs. I have lab collie cross and a jrt cross who just sounds exactly the same as your jrt. Guinea pigs can be a great fun and as they like to talk with each other its not easy to forget about them.

Siipina
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

A pet rock would be my suggestion,does,nt need feeding or looking after,makes no mess and costs nothing to buy.
Been through the lot over the years and once the novelty wears off its the parents who end up carrying the can..so yeah pet rock is the way to go!

nama-man
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

ferrets do make good pets, once gotten young,
but both sexes need to be spayed/nuetered, as females will die from toxin build up when in heat an not bred, an males will stink to high heaven!
but as said, its left to the parents to pick up wen the kids get fed up.

pearl
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

It most likely will be left to you after some time or a chore you have to push your daughter to do but I don't think I wouldn't get one for that reason, have a look into lifespan many furries that you mentioned can have as short as two years and getting a pet could be good for your daughter, teaching responsibility and the full circle of life too,

Massey
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

why not have her help with looking after all the animals u already have?

pearl
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

My daughter has kept one of our young rabbits this year and is having a great time clicker-training her to do tricks. The rabbits are in a small hutch but have a large enough run that she can sit right inside with them. That way the dog is still separate; he's fairly good about leaving the hens alone but has never been out with the rabbits.

Susan Mc
Thursday, September 15th, 2016

ferret would be first choice as im aware the novelty could wear off and id like a ferret myself and id be happy to take over if Laura gets much of a look in from the start ;)
having asked my vet they do see them but don't neuter/spay so I wonder how good they are with health issues. I contacted the pet shops but non local could advice but one further a field has a few customers with them and hes going to put me in touch with them for some first hand info, handling and advice.
Guinea pig would be second choice but I really would worry about the terrier getting it but I do love their chatter.
Nama-man rock would also be OH's idea of ideal pet and believe she has a collection of them to but novelty has worn off them especially as I get sick of finding them in the car, back of sofa, floor :/
Pearl in fairness she does help a lot with the animals, cleaning out at wkds, evening feeds, collecting eggs and rounding them up for bed and spends ages in arena teaching dogs to jump and making agility style courses and dragging them to bounce on the trampoline(which the lab loves and the terrier puts up with). winter though is tough, personally I blame school, the hours are to long and nights close in so an indoor pet would be great. I have read that males can be descented, is that part of the neutering or separate ? female spayed is probably more realistic for an indoor pet.
when I have a ferret person to meet we will also go and handle guinea pigs and different size rabbits and have a real think as to which is best suited to our home and our life style.
thanks everyone for your advice.

little chick
Friday, September 16th, 2016

We have Dogs,Cats,Pigs,Goats,Ducks,Hens,Geese,Guinea Pigs ,a Rabbit and a Chinchilla but also 2 Ferrets which are both Pets. My kids are 12 and 9. We have had Keith for just over a year and got him Dave for company about 3 months ago. My kids adore them and haven't got board with them. They provide hours of entertainment to the whole family and are easy to care for and the kids do it all everyday without being asked. Ours are neutered so hardly smell at all.
They get along great with the dogs. Although I would never leave them alone together.....just in case !!!!!

joevans
Friday, September 16th, 2016

thanks Joevans. id imagine the smell is something you become nose blind to like dog, cat, horse smell :)
are you by any chance near co.louth ?

little chick
Friday, September 16th, 2016

No sorry. I'm in Tipperary 😞

joevans
Saturday, September 17th, 2016

its a long way to Tipperary !! lol
thanks for your recommendation on ferrets anyway :)

little chick
Saturday, September 17th, 2016


You must have an account to comment here.

You must be registered with an email address to comment.

Click here to create an account. It only takes a few seconds.