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We have some exciting news which means we are hopefully going to move home soon. And into an actual house no less, no more flats! We’re all really excited and it has prompted us to think about the possibility of getting another pet. As many of you will know, we have our house bunny, Luna. I think she’s going to remain a house bunny as that’s what she’s used to, but I know she’s going to love having all the grass and dandelions to nibble on in the back garden! Moving home and having this extra space has seriously made us think about the possibility of getting another family friendly pet, so I’ve done some research and put this post together in case anyone else is in the same boat as me.
Here’s a little list of some great family friendly pets that could make a great addition to your household.
Family Friendly Pets: Cats
Little purry fluff balls of sass…what’s not to love? Cats always have so much personality and enjoy nothing more than sunbathing and chasing jingly balls around the floor. They get on great with children, especially if the kids are happy to play endlessly with tickly feathers, toy mice and noisy balls. Most cats are happy enough to wander off into the garden to do their business, but if you don’t have a cat flap or you have a lazy kitty (I had a cat once that hated the outside world!), making sure you have a really good litter tray is important. The good thing is that cats are clean little creatures, so as long as allow them access to a litter tray when they’re inside, you shouldn’t have any messy problems. Rescue centres up and down the country are teaming with cats waiting for their forever home, so if you think that your home is lacking a feline friend, this could be a great place to start!
Family Friendly Pets: Dogs
We are all familiar with the “man’s best friend” phrase used to refer to dogs. They truly do make amazing companions and are trusting and loyal to their masters. There are so many breeds of dogs to choose from which means you should take everything about your situation into consideration before adopting or buying a dog. If you have young children or a smaller home, you may wish to consider a small breed of dog rather than a large one. After having a look online, there are loads of resources available to help you choose the best dog to suit your home. Just like cats, there are loads of dogs waiting for their new family in rescue centres all over the UK, so if you do decide to adopt rather than buy, it’s worth having a look in your local rescue centre – you might find your new best friend there!
Family Friendly Pets: Guinea Pigs
As a rabbit owner, I often see people buying rabbits for their small children and it always annoys me. I can see the appeal of bunnies (otherwise I wouldn’t have owned them!), but they don’t really make great family pets – especially if you’re looking to get one specifically for children. Instead of rabbits, I would highly suggest guinea pigs! These little squeakers are much better suited to families with younger children. They love being handled and enjoy coming out for cuddles. They take up a lot less space than rabbits do, they don’t cost as much in vet bills and they are generally friendly little pets. The rescue centre I have previously adopted my bunnies from also rescue guinea pigs. I am seriously considering being a volunteer guinea pig fosterer because they’re just so cute and Luke loves them!
Family Friendly Pets: Rats
If you’re squeamish, I suppose rats wouldn’t be on the list of potential pets – but hear me out! Rats make brilliant pets and here’s why. Firstly, they’re really clever and can be taught to do tricks like jump, kiss and stand up. In fact, they’re so intelligent that in some countries, ras are used to detect landmines, rewire buildings in spaces human’s can’t reach and act as messengers. They are clean and relatively low maintenance. They obviously need their cages cleaned out and lots of enrichment toys in there to keep them entertained, but that’s about it. In terms of cost, once the initial purchase of the cage and accessories has been made, they’re relatively cheap to look after. They form long, loving bonds with other rats and humans and love a cuddle and a stroke. I’ve had so many pet rats and they really do make wonderful pets, especially for children. Fancy rats (domesticated – as opposed to the wild brown rats) are actually really quite cute too!
As a responsible pet owner, before purchasing or adopting any pet, I would advise you to do some research into costs. It’s important you factor in the cost of purchasing, housing (cage, hutch, run etc), food/hay costs, pet insurance, vaccination health plans and vet bills. As someone who’s recently had their bunny get poorly and pass away, I can’t stress how important pet insurance is. If you’re a responsible pet owner, you should insure your pet. Huxley’s vet bills came to well over £1000 and if we’d not had pet insurance, he would have been put down before he even had a chance to fight his illness. Also if you live in rented accommodation, make sure you’ve sought permission to have pets from the landlord/letting agent beforehand!