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Old 09-08-04, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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pet for a child

my grandmother watches this little girl (who turns 7 in october) and her dad wants to get her a pet for her birthday.

she loves coming over and holding my snakes and lizards, which her dad does NOT like, which is sad cause shes very mature and i think she could easily care for a corn snake with just a little bit of help. i suggested leopard geckos but my grandmother said she highly doubts her dad will buy that many crickets and mealworms.

he really wants her to get something like a hampster or gerbil but she doesn't like them, though she does like rats which i hear make great pets but guess what, he hates them.

sooo i thought about hedgehogs, very cool looking little creatures that i think all 3 of them will like and enjoy. i read about their basic care and it seems like they can care for it. but i have never had one myself and i dont like to go by just written words, i want to hear from some one with experience!

if any one here who has had or does have a hedgehog can you tell me if you think this is a good or bad idea?

if this is a bad idea, please suggest some more pets, thanks!
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Old 09-08-04, 08:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've owned two in the past...and both of them were somewhat temperamental. With mine I had to work hard to gain their trust, and they were great little animals...as long as I handled them daily...I went on a 3 day vacation with my family a few times and each time I sort of had to tame them down again which I found rather odd...I think for a 7 year old they are not a wise choice...but this is only my opinion.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Guinnea pigs
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Old 09-08-04, 08:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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no way on the guinea pigs, my friend that knows all about small mammals sais they need alot of care and attention which it most likley wont get at this house, a once a day handling of a hedge hog is much more likely to happen.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Get a leopard gecko, adult leo, Adult beardie, Or a corn snake. Adult beardies only need 8 crickets a week 15 max, and they eat alot of vegetables, greens, and fruits as there main diet. Adult leos do not require crickets every day nor mealworms.
Maybey 8 crickets is all they need every other day. mealworms are not that expensive, here they are only a dollar or 1.50 for 300 mealworms. Btw mealworms live for months if kept on a mediocre diet of bran and a vegetable source of moisture.

Snakes are good, they feed on mice, pinkies, rats ect... Or garter snakes, they eat fish, can be trained on pinkies but with vitamin supplements.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I"ve owned them in the past and have another now. Funny thing is that when my daughter was 2 ( the first time we had some) she loved them and there was one female that she handled contantly. But this time around at age 9 she is afraid to handle the new one because she doesn't want to get picked. So, I wouldn't really recommend them for this little girl. Her father probably wouldn't like it if it turned out to be a popper or shy hedgie which many are. They are wonderful, awesome pets but seriously her father doesn't sound like the kind of owner for these guys. I would take a rat over a hamster any day, those buggers bite all the time! Rats are much more docile and smart. lol
But I would say go with TexasAggie and get a guinea pig. My daughter also had one of those. They can be quite vocal though so if that would bother the father that too would be a problem. Ours learnt the sound of the refridgorator and would squeel with delight every time it opened because she thought carrots or greens where coming her way. lol. We called it the fridge alarm.
He could also go with a female bunny. Males spray so I'd stay away from them, but a female dwarf rabbit would make a great pet, they can be housed in a large guinea pig cage and are pretty easy to care for. Another great pet would be a cockatiel. My daughter loves our bird. If you get a hand raised tiel at a young age they can be very pleasing as a pet. They love attention and will sit on your shoulder and eat from your hands and give you kisses. Great pets. We have two tiels.
Hope she gets her pet and the father doesn't change his mind afterwards.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oh, and if you want to go the herp way, you could always suggest a mali uro. Get an adult or older juvie and they can be fed on a diet of mostly salad.
Sorry about the gp suggestion, I posted before I saw your second post on the no go for gp's.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hear female cockatiels don't talk, and that would be nice if noise is a bother. That might be bologna though, I have never had one.
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Old 09-08-04, 08:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I got my son a snow corn for his 7th birthday...

He always loved looking at my snakes.. so I got one for him.. he loves it.. he takes care of it under my guidence... he is learning allot
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Old 09-08-04, 09:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by TexasAggie04
I hear female cockatiels don't talk, and that would be nice if noise is a bother. That might be bologna though, I have never had one.
Well, most females are much quiter than males, and they seldem to never actually talk. But they can make lots of wistles and noises. I wish someone would tell my females they weren't supposed to be loud. lol, but then we have 6 all together and having a flock is much different than having one. One alone is usually fairly quite. Flocks like to yell at each other to make sure they are still in hearing distance.



My 9 year old daughter also has her own snake. She has a milk snake. Not my first choice, I would have went with a corn. But she wanted the milk so she got it on condition she cleans and cares for it (exception of feeding, I do that) She is awesome with her snake and for a milk snake it is pretty calm with her. More with her than with me. lol.
I male sand boa would be great too, if it was well established, they only get about 15 inches long where a corn gets about 48. Just a thought.
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Old 09-08-04, 09:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would definatly say no to the hedgehog idea.

1) as said they can be termpermental and they bite hard
2) being poked by thier quills while not painful can cause irratation similar to the itchy ness after a cat scratch and its pretty much unavoidable when handling.
3) they are prone to tumors(cancer) and growths mines already had to have 1 removed to the sum of 160$
4)they benafit from a running wheel. which has to be a solid type due to thier long legs. promlem: they run all nigh and urinate and crap in the wheel which dries and has to be scrubbed daily.

check out http://hedgehogcentral.com/ and the yahoo hedgehog help group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hedgehog_help/ (you have to become a member)

It's too bad she can't have a snake because my daughter has been looking after her own since she was 5, they are a no brainer.. But she will no longer handle the hedgehog.
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Old 09-08-04, 10:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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just buy her a corn snake and who cares what her dad thinks
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Old 09-09-04, 04:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Enter
just buy her a corn snake and who cares what her dad thinks
I think she was saying that it was her dad that was looking to buy the pet for the girls birthday.
I'd say go with a snake as well, but if he doesn't like snakes I still think a Mali would be the next step to try and persuade him.
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Old 09-09-04, 08:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Aren't hedgehogs insectivores? Wasn't this the problem with leos? Cornsnakes are (in my opinion) the best low-maintenance pets for kids. I dont have a lot of experience with small mammals, but they are smelly, require daily care, and live short lives (leading to earlier heartache for young owners). Bearded dragons and leoepard geckos are awesome pets too. Mammals suck.

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Old 09-09-04, 08:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think the rat is the best idea, but of course dad doesn't like that. Rats make wonderful pets!! So....he doesn't like herps or rats. Maybe he needs to be a little more open minded?
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