A New Family Pet?

My 10 year old son, Joey is homeschooled and has been really interested in having his own pet(specifically a rat). A friend of ours has a pet rat and I’m told they can be quite loyal and smart(for a rat). 7A72255C-2370-4642-81CF-F1AAEF5747E8

We do however, already have 2 dogs, 1 cat and a rather large tank of fish. So I am a bit up in the air on what to do.

With my adult children, when they were growing up, I always encouraged them to take an interest in animals. Over the years we’ve had our share of them! We have had… bunnies, hamsters, birds, and lizards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI probably enjoyed the lizard the best, with the exception of all the crickets getting loose in our house! That was a fun little activity, gathering 2 dozen crickets from my living room.🤪

Since I do love pets, I can appreciate that my son wants to bond with his own little buddy, I’m just not sure if it is the right decision.

Some Of Our Concerns

  1. If we move ahead to support him on this, is a rat the best choice for a pet?
  2. Will Joe be responsible enough to manage all of the pet’s needs?
  3. Will he lose interest in the pet?
  4. Will I be the one that will ultimately be the proud owner of a new pet rat that I didn’t even get to enjoy naming?(I do love naming my pets)
  5. Will the pet suffer because he may not get enough attention?
  6. What do we do when we go camping every weekend this summer?
  7. Rats only live a few years, would I be setting my son up for disappointment just around the corner?

Some Of The Benefits

  1. Pets do make us live longer, right? Does this apply to having a rat or just cats and dogs? I’m not sure…
  2. He could earn the money needed for a new pet and all of the stuff that goes along with it, teaching him some responsibility. This could be a good homeschooling project.
  3. I would prefer him to spend his allowance on a critter friend over a video game or app upgrade.
  4. It would give him companionship if they were to bond.
  5. A rat is a fairly inexpensive pet, and low maintenance compared to a dog.

I Would Love To Hear Everyone’s Opinion

  1. Would you support a new pet friend for a homeschooled 10 year old?
  2. If yes, what would be the best pet?
  3. What are the animals in your home?


Thanks for reading, have a great night! ✌🏻


13 replies »

  1. How do you feel about a pet rat assuming it’ll end up with you? (worst case scenario)
    Would you prefer a kitten – ie something where you don’t have a cage to clean out!
    I think he’s a good age for getting a pet whatever you go with but is he mature enough to clean the cage etc? Give him a month trial doing some aspect of pet care on the pets you have and see how he manages that responsibility 😊

  2. I have 2 cats that live with me now. Throughout my life I have had 6 dogs, 7 cats, 2 birds (whom my first cat ate) 2 fish and a garder snake. (Although the snake did not actually live with me he/she lived between the bushes up at the cabin my amma had.) Animals are a great way for kids to learn responsibility. If your son is really wanting a rat, maybe have him do a project learning about what he will need to do to care for and tend to the rat. And to realize that it is not something that he can just pass along to you. As well if you had him earn the money for it, it may make him more likely to care for and tend to his new friend. As for the weekends away, I realize it is different for my cats as I dump out a whole bunch of food and water for the two days I am gone. But that is something to look into. As for the grief that he will feel when his pet dies, it is a learning experience. I have lost every animal I mentioned above. 2 of my dogs died before they even reached 5. 2 from old age and the other 2 were given away when my brother was born. 2 of my cats were given away 2 died 1 disappeared. Even as I sit here tears welling as I type this I believe that my life is so much better for having them it. Animals are the one friend who will love you unconditionally, always be happy to see you and offers a silent support when needed. Never mind that they get to hear all the secrets we can’t tell anyone else. (I am so sorry this is so long)

  3. We are a dog family and farm animals (only chickens at this point but hopefully goats soon). I don’t do rodents or reptiles in the house. I think having him work for the money to pay for it is a great idea and since he is home schooled and caring for the pet could be part of his schooling he wouldn’t have school as an excuse not to care for it. Good luck with your decision.

  4. I’m having the same dilemma about getting my daughter a ginger cat (it has to be ginger!). But with 2 dogs and my love of travel it just doesnt make sense. Plus she’s only 3 and I think the cat will scratch since she’s so rough. My opinion for the rat is that it will probably be easy for him to take care of being that it will be in an enclosure. I had mice when I was around same age and managed them on my own. Just consider whether someone can take care of it when your away. I’m petrified of rats 😟

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