12 Pet Options – Which is Less Likely to Eat Your Child?

Pet GoldfishThe day we’ve been dreading finally came. No, I don’t mean Income Tax Day; though if you’ve not gotten yours done, stop reading this now and go finish them. You’ve only got a few more hours.

Today our 3 year-old asked for a pet. My wife didn’t realize that’s what she was doing at first. She’d asked for a goldfish, and when my wife returned with a bag of cheesy crackers our daughter burst into tears.

What she wanted, of course, was a real goldfish. The kind you keep in a bowl, overfeed and flush down the toilet. Hoping I could defuse the situation, or perhaps just to pass the buck, my wife put her on the phone with me.

Like any good parent, I stalled, and told her we’d talk about it when I got home. In the mean time I’ve been doing some research, and here are some pretty cool options I’ve found; some admittedly are a bit exotic. Which do you think we should get?

  • Bunny Rabbit 1 of 13
    Bunny Rabbit
    What better time to get a rabbit as a pet? All those parents that bought one for their kids at Easter are realizing their mistake right about now. Seriously, it's a buyers market out there. Oh, tell your kids not to eat the raisins in the bunny's cage.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Pet Chameleon 2 of 13
    Pet Chameleon
    There's been a surge of interest recently in exotic pets. The chameleon Pascal in the Disney movie "Tangled" has made this popular choice. If your kids can find him (he's a chameleon, remember), he'll provide hours of fun watching his long tongue snag the flies you'll want to release in your home for his meals.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • House Cat 3 of 13
    House Cat
    "The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer." ~Paula Poundstone

    I'm not sure anyone really owns a cat, but they will sometimes let you share their house. Personally I'm allergic, so this is not an option for our daughter's pet. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Most fall into one distinct camp or the other.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Pet Snake 4 of 13
    Pet Snake
    I have friends who have pet snakes. Some are more than 7 feet long and can swallow a small child whole. I'm thinking, the "cool factor" aside, this may not the best child's pet. In case you're wondering, this one is an Eastern Milk Snake.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Pet Hamster 5 of 13
    Pet Hamster
    I had one of these as a boy. I suppose all pets may help kids face mortality and death? Dad said my hamster was only sleeping when he took it for a walk. It was the weirdest thing. I swear his spots were in a different place the next day?
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • The Goldfish 6 of 13
    The Goldfish
    Speaking of pets and mortality, I can already hear my baby girl's screams when she finds little "Goldie" belly up in the bowl. I suppose we'd could keep a spare in a bowl in our room, so we could pull the old switcheroo. How do you handle a pet's death?
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Guinea Pig 7 of 13
    Guinea Pig
    The unfortunately-named guinea pig has been the subject of many a child's experiment. No, a kite will not work as a hang-glider for the poor little guy. I tried. Popular briefly when Blockbuster Video used one as spokesperson; kids tended to be disappointed when they found he couldn't really dance and sing.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Pet Iguana 8 of 13
    Pet Iguana
    Yes, there are people who get iguanas for pets. Somehow the requisite cuddle factor just isn't there. I suppose you could use it for home security? Basically, you could turn it into an attack iguana, or is that redundant?
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Pet Ferret 9 of 13
    Pet Ferret
    Back in 1982 there was a film called "The Beastmaster", where some guy ran around in a loin-cloth and carried two pet ferrets. If you missed the movie, count yourself lucky. That's 2 hours I can never recover. Back to the ferret: basically they are the dachshunds of the rodent family. If you want a rat, just get a rat.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Hermit Crab 10 of 13
    Hermit Crab
    Ever since Sebastian sang his way into our hearts Under the Sea in the Disney film "The Little Mermaid", these little crustaceans have been a popular pet. If you ask me, though, they look like something that burst out that guys chest during the first "Alien" movie, but if you think this is cuddly, go for it.
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • Wolfdog 11 of 13
    Did you know there are people who own hybrid wolf-dog breeds? The more wolf in the mix, the more wolf-like their behavior. So, be sure to put a red cape on your kid before sending her out to play with him. I promise, the video will go viral.
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Pot Bellied Pig 12 of 13
    Pot Bellied Pig
    "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Winston Churchill

    Sir Winston Churchill's endorsement notwithstanding, the super cute and smart baby pot bellied pig eventually turns into the full grown pot bellied pig. Look at the picture. Yes, I know they are as smart as dogs. Get a dog!
    Image source: stock.xchng
  • The Dog 13 of 13
    The Dog
    I do realize there are people who are dog people. I don't mean hybrid human-dog breeds, though the beast in that TV show "Beauty and the Beast", kinda looked like one. And there are cat people. Neither camp will agree which makes a better pet, but give me a good old rescue mutt from the local shelter any day. They'll love and protect your kids, and will think you're wonderful no matter what you do.
    Image source: stock.xchng

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out Babble Pets, because pets are family, too!

For more of Michael Schmid’s posts you can find him at, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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