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What pet could we get?


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#1 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:49 AM

9yo DD desperately wants a pet. She collects anything she can put in an icecream container. Currently have grasshoppers in an old aquarium and hoping we are feeding them correctly so they dont die. I would love to give her the experience of loving and caring for an animal.

Anyway, I have 9yo, 7yo and a 10 month old.  DH has a busy job and often brings work home. Im returning to work hopefully 3 days later in the year.  The baby is extremely active and into absolutely everything and the older kids have a lot of sports and activities. I also go to the gym daily.

To complicate matters we tend to go camping every second weekend, and usually for a week or so in the school holiday period. We do have family who would be able to feed or water an animal while we were away or have a small animal at their house.  We have a large house and yard but live just off a busy road, so Im not keen to get a cat in case it gets out.

So realistically, getting a pet would be silly, wouldn't it?  Is there anything we could get that would work into such a busy family?  I certainly don't want to get an animal and then not give it the love and attention that it deserves.

#2 OceanTwentyFour

Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:57 AM

You can take dogs to some camping spots.

#3 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:00 PM

View PostOceanTwentyFour, on 22 February 2020 - 11:57 AM, said:

You can take dogs to some camping spots.

I definately plan to get a dog down the road but I dont think I have the time to commit to training a puppy at the moment.  DS is pretty much like a puppy, he chews everything he can find :rofl:

#4 SummerStar

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:01 PM

A bearded dragon or blue tongue. Make great pets, can be left no problem for a couple of days without needing someone to feed them and can be handled etc...they make no mess as they live in a terrarium. Brilliant pets for busy people, don't need loads of attention, do well left alone when you have little time.

#5 amdirel

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:07 PM

Rats are awesome.

#6 SummerStar

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:11 PM

View Postamdirel, on 22 February 2020 - 12:07 PM, said:

Rats are awesome.

I thought so too but I am left with the task of trying to rehome a couple... Proving impossible.

#7 Moo-me

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:15 PM

Why not get an older dog? Try fostering and see how it works out?

I also read a topic on here about two families sharing a dog...

#8 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:26 PM

View PostMoo-me, on 22 February 2020 - 12:15 PM, said:

Why not get an older dog? Try fostering and see how it works out?

I also read a topic on here about two families sharing a dog...

Thats something I didnt think of.  Im not heaps experienced with dogs although I had one growing up.  I guess I wasnt sure if I would have the knowledge or experience to deal with it if it had issues but its worth looking into.  I could walk it instead of going to the gym.

#9 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:28 PM

View PostSummerStar, on 22 February 2020 - 12:01 PM, said:

A bearded dragon or blue tongue. Make great pets, can be left no problem for a couple of days without needing someone to feed them and can be handled etc...they make no mess as they live in a terrarium. Brilliant pets for busy people, don't need loads of attention, do well left alone when you have little time.

Thanks that's a great idea. I will look into this :)   I love Lizards :)

#10 Starflash

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:00 PM

Isn't salmonella an issue with reptiles? No experience, only from incidental reading.

#11 No Drama Please

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:10 PM

A rabbit? I don’t have one but I really want one. :heart:

#12 HolierThanCow

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:14 PM

I have a friend who kept indoor rabbits, which seemed to work. She cleaned the cage daily, but it wasn't much trouble. She even hose trained them so they could hop around the house. Tropical fish, perhaps? Easier to care for than cold water fish IME.

Eta *house trained!

Edited by HolierThanCow, 22 February 2020 - 01:15 PM.


#13 SummerStar

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:16 PM

View PostStarflash, on 22 February 2020 - 01:00 PM, said:

Isn't salmonella an issue with reptiles? No experience, only from incidental reading.

Never been a problem here and we have about 35. All captive bred which makes a difference too.

As with all animals wash hands after handling....

Edited by SummerStar, 22 February 2020 - 01:17 PM.


#14 teejay

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:27 PM

Haven't read the whole thread - but what about a Budgie. You can teach them to talk ( I think males generally) and have it very tame so it can be out of its cage a lot. We had 2 ( one recently died at age 10) the other one is stil going strong at the same age. We go away a bit but generally get someone to look after them when going for longer than 4 days - otherwise we give them a seed block and they have a big water container plus we put an extra one in just in case

#15 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 22 February 2020 - 01:39 PM

View PostHolierThanCow, on 22 February 2020 - 01:14 PM, said:

I have a friend who kept indoor rabbits, which seemed to work. She cleaned the cage daily, but it wasn't much trouble. She even hose trained them so they could hop around the house. Tropical fish, perhaps? Easier to care for than cold water fish IME.

Eta *house trained!

Rabbits are gorgeous, I'm working on DH to get one. But they need their people every day. You can't leave them alone for a week at a time.

#16 BusbyWilkes

Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:44 PM

Guinea pigs are popular with friends whose kids want a pet (a cuddly one) but the family can’t commit to cats/dogs.

#17 BECZ

Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:50 PM

Hermit crabs are another easy option.

#18 HolierThanCow

Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:51 PM

View PostNot Escapin Xmas, on 22 February 2020 - 01:39 PM, said:



Rabbits are gorgeous, I'm working on DH to get one. But they need their people every day. You can't leave them alone for a week at a time.

True... we house sat for them over the holidays once so the rabbits would have company. I have another friend who has indoor rabbits, and their neighbour came in twice a day while they were on holiday... didn't shut the enclosure properly one evening, and by the next morning the rabbits had chewed through three power cords in the lounge room and pooed everywhere (in protest, my friend thought)!

#19 SummerStar

Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:54 PM

View PostBECZ, on 22 February 2020 - 02:50 PM, said:

Hermit crabs are another easy option.

They're not all that easy! Here's a post I've seen going around Facebook recently:

"Community service announcement: Don’t buy Hermit Crabs for your kids /grandkids like I did thinking that they are an ‘easy pet’. I have had to become a complete hermit crab nerd to keep these poor guys alive.

If you already have some and want to learn how not to kill them, go to the Facebook group ‘Hermit Crabs Aussie Style’. They are really helpful and non-judgey and will help you to set up your guys properly.

Here’s what I wish I knew before I bought them:

They need over 80% humidity in the tank or their gills get damaged and they die (if you have them, close all air vents so that humidity rises).
They are wild caught (so sad, adopt don’t get from pet shop).
They are forced into painted shells which are toxic for them and kill them.
The little tanks that are sold with them are way too small and kill them.
They need 15cm of sand mixed with coir peat in order to molt and survive.
Each crab needs at least 5 spare D shaped shells to move into.
They need temperatures above 26 degrees in the tank or they stress and die.
They can live up to 30 years (most don’t survive a year).
They need a deep salt water and fresh water pools so that their bodies don’t dry out.
They cannot be released back into the wild as they are land crabs from tropical regions, not ocean hermit crabs.
They need fresh food and weird things like leaf littler, worm castings, it goes on.

Don’t buy them. And if you have them, please do your research and give them the life they deserve. Happy to walk anyone through how to give them proper care "

#20 LucyGoose

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:05 PM

We bought guinea pigs and they’re fairly low maintenance.

We looked into getting a lizard,  but they can live for like 20 years!  


#21 PrincessPeach

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:09 PM

Gold fish are pretty easy, but not cuddly.

You buy the extended feeder blocks & they will feed the fish for a week.

#22 Flaxen

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:10 PM

Rabbit. Hand reared budgie. Older dog.

#23 shanta

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:19 PM

Chickens? With the bonus of fresh eggs. Just make sure you have a fox proof enclosure.

#24 PrincessPeach

Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:38 PM

View Postshanta, on 22 February 2020 - 03:19 PM, said:

Chickens? With the bonus of fresh eggs. Just make sure you have a fox proof enclosure.

Check your council requirements closely for this one, ours allow it, but your land must be larger than 600m2, which very few actually are.

#25 kadoodle

Posted 22 February 2020 - 04:02 PM

View PostPrincessPeach, on 22 February 2020 - 03:38 PM, said:



Check your council requirements closely for this one, ours allow it, but your land must be larger than 600m2, which very few actually are.

Quail? Still lay eggs, but a smaller and don’t fly.




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