We got invaded by ants the other day. Don’t know why, but they just marched in like they owned the place. I was not home but I got the low down, two days later they were back. So in the interests of not poisoning the planet (or my children), I started looking into what pet we could keep (legally) that will eat ants. Best one I could find was the thorny devil lizard. Looks awesome, with spikes everywhere and their diet? Ants! I really don’t think it would be fair to the lizard or the kids, as the lizard is from WA or QLD areas, think it would get too cold down here for it. The big question then became what family pet to get?
I guess you can look at the normal things like a dog, or a cat but we don’t really enough space outside for a dog and well, wonder wife shot the cat idea down, not a cat person. We talked about fish, relaxing calm but no where really to put a tank. In the end we started to figure out what we wanted from our pet, and the one thing that keeps coming up was if we were to keep a pet, it needed to be a productive. So we decided on getting some chickens.
What do you look for when you are thinking about getting a family pet?
Now we asked the kids about what they thought about getting chickens. I must say they were very excited. So that was settled then, chickens it is for us. How did we choose chickens? Well I came up with eight questions to ask your self to help you decide what type of pet might be good for you.
1) What do you want it for?
Is it to replace having baby number 2, 3 or even 6? Then maybe think about having the baby instead, you might find that you still have that void. If on the other hand it is to teach responsibility or to have another play friend, or company for you as the kids are now at school – when did that happen right? Then I guess you know what you are doing.
2) Do you have enough space for it?
Pets need their own space, and I don’t just mean a little bit for them to stand in. Depending on the type of animal – you may want a horse, you may need to think it through. Cute little puppies become dogs, kittens – cats, you see where I am going with that. SO if you don’t have the room for the adult version of the animal, don’t get the baby version, it’s just mean.
3) Who is going to look after it?
Do you really think your children are going to look after the pet all the time? Do you think that during the winter when its cold and raining, they will be wanting to clean out the kitty tray, or take the dog for the much needed walk? I think you will find yourself mistaken. Yes, even if they grow up with the pet, at some point in time, it will be up to you to take care of it.
4) How much will it cost to keep?
Some pets are going to cost you more then others, and some types are going to cost more then others too. So to have a long haired dog verses a short hair dog, you may find that you are getting your dogs’ hair cut more then yours, and then there is the vet visits. Pets can cost a lot of money. So look into how much the on going cost are. Food; is a special diet needed, maintenance/grooming, they all stack up so ask people in clubs about how much extra cost is involved.
5) Can you take it on holidays with you?
One thing people sometimes forget is holidays, and if they can take their pets with them or not. Its hard to find places that allow pets with you on holidays, so if you can’t leave your pet at home, or have someone come and look out for them, then you might need to look into putting them in a kennel of some kind. So think about what type of holidays you want to have and will your pet be able to be looked after.
When you look at getting a pet look at your life style, are you an outdoor type of family, or more of a video game type. This is the most important thing about getting your pet, as you need to get something that will work with you. No point if you get a big dog like a greyhound or husky if you don’t like going to the park. Get a breed that fits in with your lifestyle.
7) Try before you buy.
Can you rent or borrow the pet you want for a couple weeks to see how you would go with it? You might find someone that has the same breed that you are after and you might be able to “pet sit” while they go on holiday or they could then take a holiday. Or you might find a business that rents a pet for awhile to see if you like it. Either way, if you can, you might find its the right pet for you and go out and buy one straight way.
8) Where to get your pet from.
There are so many places to get pets from these day, but one thing which I ask you to consider, is an animal shelter for your pet. Or a old retired racing or breeding animal, something that might not have a chance otherwise. Don’t worry, you would not be able to buy it if it wasn’t safe. We have looked at old greyhounds but we really don’t have the space. I am looking into chooks from battery farms as they need love too.
These are my suggestions on what family pet to get, I hope it helps you out and you get the right pet for your family. We rented some chickens and now are sorting out our front yard a bit better to accommodate a few girls, I am sure we will get a least one girl that has been saved from a battery farm, either way I will put a post up about our rented chooks as we had so much fun with them and we are ready to get some of our own.
Till next time.