My daughter has been lobbying for a pet of her own ever since my husband took her window-shopping at a pet store last Sunday while we waited for a table at Red Robin. She declared that she’d really like a mouse. “Mom, I know it’s a big responsibility,” she said, “But I am five-and-a-half! I know how to take care of a pet!”

The truth is, I have always had a fondness for animals. However, I am not willing to take care of a small pet, especially a small pet that might be mauled to death by our three mutant cats in an unguarded moment.

So, we’re trying to convince her that a fish would be Fun with a capital F.

Anybody have advice? I am thinking that a Beta fish might be easy to keep alive? Easier than a goldfish?

That’s just what I need: something more to tend.

17 thoughts on “Pets

  1. My husband and his roommates had a tank full of semi-aggressive fish. They were easy to keep alive, and they were more fun to watch than non-aggressive fish because they chased each other around the tank.

    Occasionally they would eat one another, and I could see that being a problem for a five-year-old. But, they were certainly not as boring as beta fish or goldfish.


  2. Butterflies is a great idea. We’ve been through two batches and it’s so amazing to see them come to life. We have a beta fish who has the cutest personality. I know, weird. But he eats out of my hand, “follows” me around the kitchen around the edge of his bowl. (My husband thinks I’ve been staying home too long, but honestly, this fish loves me). I won him as a door prize and we’ve had him for 18 months.
    And he’s much easier than a mouse (we’ve had those too and they smell.)


  3. We have a Beta. You can’t put any other fish with it nor can you have more than one beta together. BUT they live for a long time and are very low maintenance. Beta’s look great in one of those glass bowls where you can add a live plant on top. They keep clean longer also.
    A goldfish however keeps a nasty tank most of the time…they are yucky.


  4. My hubby has been begging for a dog since ever since he was little. I finally gave in and within two hours we had a mini daschund that cost us 500 bucks.

    And another 125 for shots.

    So far the dog has peed in the house six times, once on our comforter. She eats duplo blocks – six or seven so far. And the stacking rings for the baby.

    I’ve spent 50$ on toys she won’t touch.

    Did I mention that this lovely, lovely dog that hubby just HAD TO HAVE…

    is pregnant?


  5. Ugh. My kids are always bugging me for pets, too. We’ve done the Beta fish thing, but it’s always me who has to clean the bowl. Now we have a hermit crab. He’s pretty low maintenance, I only have to feed and water about twice a week and he’s lived for over a year. Not much fun to watch or play with, though.


  6. We have a desert tortoise. We are in so california, may be not such a great idea in the north west, but low maint. We don’t need to feed it cuz she eats the grass or weeds and in October we put her in a box in the garage where she hibernates until March. The perfect pet. Although the kids have been asking for a pet they can “do something with”…..


  7. We have increased the pet population in our house tremendously over the past year or two. To our 2 goldfish (dirty fish, don’t get them) we have now added a dog, hermit crabs (yes, plural they do better with more than 1) and now a guinea pig. All pets have their advantages and disadvantages. But you must realize that no matter what pet you agree to, after the initial week or maybe month, when the excitement wears off, you will be the one left to take care of it. Much to our dismay, any of us with pets know all too well. Gotta run, the fish need to be fed, the dog needs to go out, the hermit crabs need water and where did the kids put the guinea pig?


  8. I had a Beta when I was younger. It was easy to take care of and lived for quite a long time. Daniel is BEGGING me for the butterfly thing.


  9. I got my daughter a beta. They are great pets and they’ve got personality. Sunee (beta’s name) would swim to the surface and make bubbles every time you came near.


  10. My then-7-year-old (now 9) bought a beta fish who is still alive. We have a small tank without any filter or anything fancy. She changes the water about every 2 weeks, but I understand you can change/replace part of the water once a week, rather than the whole tank. The fish is pretty boring after 2 years, but also very low maintenance. And the nice thing is that you won’t have to buy more fish to add to the tank later because betas don’t share. [:-)


  11. We got a bunny rabbit, and its not too bad. They live outdoors in a hutch, the kid can take it out and play with it, feed it daily, the ppoop falls through the bottom of the cage. Also it hasa little litter pan in the corner of its hutch and it mostly poops in there, and we dump it once a week and refill it with sawdust. I am someone who hates taking care of pets, our dog is attention starved and lucky to be fed and watered (by ME!) the kids would be heartbroken if either of our pets were gone.


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