The other day a friend asked me what the best pet is to have around small children and my answer is “None” because small children are very dangerous. My friend thought I was joking and so I made up a list of why pets suck when you have little kids.
Terrible pets for children:
1. Dogs: They will lick up everything that falls on the floor. Including vomit. I’m not sure if this is more of a pro or a con. Either way, dogs are gross.
2. Cats: Cats teach children that they have to be gentle with animals. As a bonus, your child will look like a small pirate in his new eye patch after the cat teaches your child to be gentle.
3. Hamsters: Hamsters make great pets because they are very inexpensive to replace when your child goes on an unintentional murderous rampage. Also, your child will learn that “GENTLY” is code for “That furry thing is about to explode.” I suggest having them practice first with water balloons filled with blood.
4. Snakes: I have a friend who had pet snakes when we were young and they’re surprisingly sweet when they’re not biting your friends in the face. That sentence? Not an exaggeration. Have you ever had to pull your snake’s fangs out of your (former) friend’s face? I don’t recommend it. Also, snakes carry salmonella so if your baby puts your snake in its mouth, it’ll probably get sick. I’m not entirely sure how snakes carry salmonella since they don’t have hands or pockets, but somehow they manage. They’re like the Typhoid Mary of the reptile world.
5. Frogs: Frogs are hardy and they come in a tiny cube and seem very easy to care for. Then you look on the Internet and find people telling you how cruel it is to have frogs in such tiny enclosures. The frogs live. But it’s not a good life.
6. Goldfish: The only difference between having a goldfish in a goldfish bowl and watching one on the computer is that the goldfish on your computer isn’t dead.
7. Rabbits: One of the families I used to nanny for had rabbits. One time we got one out of the cage and his ear fell off. We were never certain if it was attacked or if it just dropped off an ear like lizards do with their tails when they get scared. The kids and I waited to see if it would regenerate a new ear but turns out rabbits can’t regenerate. They can, however, totally die of missing-ear-infections.
8. Rocks: Rocks are not pets. But they are hardy. And choking hazards.
9. Hedgehogs: Hedgehogs are so cute I can’t stand it and when I see them take baths I CANNOT CONTAIN MYSELF AND START SHOUTING. Which is unsettling for the hedgehog and everyone else concerned. Hedgehogs are adorable but they are nocturnal and your child will keep waking them up in the daytime and eventually they will die of sleep deprivation or just get really, really bitchy. Plus, they’re made of spikes.
10. Flame-throwers: Stop it. You’re not even trying anymore.
11. Sea-Monkeys: Terrifically overrated. You expect to get this family of near-mermaids wearing hats and hair ribbons and instead you get something that looks a lot like underwater genital lice. Your child loses interest in a day and now you’re forced to care for these things until the cat knocks over the plastic tank and gets lice. No one wins.
12. Imaginary mice: True story: When I was little I pretended there was an imaginary family of mice that lived in my walls. They wore tiny outfits and helped me pick out my clothes for school. They were awesome and I would leave crumbs out to feed them and that’s how we ended up with real mice, who were much less interested in picking out my clothes and much more interested in eating my clothes and making nests out of them. Those mice were a$$holes.
I guess my point here is that there really isn’t a good pet for small children. Also, there aren’t a lot of small children that are good for pets. But why let that stop you? Technically small children will destroy your house and a great portion of your social life but they’re still worth the hassle. Same thing goes with pets. So I think I just disproved my whole essay here.
You know what?? Forget it. Have a kid. Adopt a pet. Let the chips fall were they may. Life was meant to be enjoyed.
Go hug your kids and pet hamster. Enjoy the hell out of them.