As a parent, you want to have the ability to give your kids everything that they want in life.
You don’t want to deprive your child, however, so what can you do when your little boy or girl comes up to you with these cute little brown eyes and asks you for a puppy or a kitty (or a ferret, parrot, snake, alligator, etc.)? With a household pet comes many responsibilities, and you as a parent are likely the one to decide who takes those responsibilities initially. Will you refuse your child telling them about the inherent responsibilities of having a pet? Do you point out that having a puppy requires you to pick up after the dog, take it for walks, feed it twice a day and so on? This will probably be your initial reaction sure, and the child’s first reaction is to assure you that he/she will take care of those duties, they will feed it, walk it, play with it, give it all the attention it requires and appreciate it like no puppy or kitty has ever been loved before. Well, you, being a loving parent as opposed to a heartless gargoyle, can not keep up that wall of resolution forever, so, whether it is the following day, the next week or the next month, eventually you are going to cave and adopt that pet for your child (though hopefully not the alligator). Then you begin to see a few weeks have gone by and the amount of care given your pet by your child seems to be waning while you suddenly appear to be doing all these things your diabolically adorable offspring assured you to do. You can not nag the child forever though, or perhaps you can, but in the meantime you will have a scrawny little pet two days away from starvation and a backyard lined wall to wall with pet doodie.
So now you’re the principal caregiver and you silently curse the cute brown eyes of your devil spawned young. So the solution is to not adopt a pet right? Not necessarily. There can be a compromise for you and your child. And the compromise is not to talk about a dog with two other families so you have it on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the third Sunday of every month. No, you can get your child a real life real pet. And what pet can you get your little bundle of joy? Consider getting them a hamster (either one syrian or two dwarf hamsters). Why hamsters? Hamsters are a fantastic pet for kids depending on the type you embrace (Chinese Hamsters tend to be jumpy and are thus not a fantastic idea for smaller children). Hamsters are small and furry and never lose that degree of cuteness that a kid covets, secondly, they’re really easy to take care of they’re practically automated (notice that I said almost ). Hamsters don’t smell that strongly either, they may smell more powerful than a cat (unless your cat frequently pees on your bed or on the living room carpet) however they aren’t quite as stinky as a dog can be. What’s more, they’re almost like a toy because they can be played with and cuddled and managed and then when the child is done with the pet they can be put back in their cage where they can play and entertain themselves (the hamsters not your children). Of course a hamster isn’t free of responsibilities, the cage needs to be cleaned weekly or it will begin to smell, of course hamsters will need to be fed, and they ought to get adequate attention if you expect them to be friendly and tame to your family and friends. However, the amount of energy (and money) you and your child MUST expend to take care of a hamster is much smaller than that of a larger animal such as a dog, and they do not shed like cats, they’re silent (though their exercise wheels might not be), and they’re only a joy to handle and have around. When your little boy or girl comes up to you and begs you for that cute little puppy in the pet shop tell them maybe later, but for today, let’s start a bit smaller.