Animals entertaining us with their strange behavior can positively impact our emotional health. You may have a child who has asked you repeatedly about getting a pet, and you haven’t made a final decision. If you have the resources to care for a pet and no one is allergic, pets can be an excellent addition to the family, and we’ll examine why below.
10 Reasons Why Pets Are Great for Kids
1. Teaches Responsibility
Tasks like cleaning out the fish tank or taking the dog for a walk teach children to be responsible and give them a sense of achievement. It teaches them dependability. If you need to take the dog for a walk after being out of the house all day, you’re teaching your child the importance of thinking and empathizing with another living creature that is also dependent on them. Pets will also offer a sense of empowerment. Children move through the world having decisions made for them but keeping a pet can make them feel more grown up.
2. Provides Companionship & Comfort
Children can find security and support from their pets, which generally means they will often feel less anxious or withdrawn. Pets can help with confidence and learning. A child that is reluctant to read aloud in school might feel more comfortable reading to their pet, as they see them as a non-judgmental audience they can practice on.
3. Encourages Activity
Pets encourage owners to take them for walks or play with them, so owning a pet gets your child outside and moving. This will benefit their overall health.
4. Reduces Allergies
A study1 in 2017 found that babies with pets in the home are less likely to develop allergies because they are exposed to allergens such as pet dander and dirt that their pets have brought into the house.
5. Strengthens Bond With Family
Pets are instrumental in bringing people together. You can do activities with your child and their pet, like walking the dog or feeding the pet together. They’re simple tasks but can be enjoyable, especially when done together.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Stroking an animal has been known to lower blood pressure which, in turn, decreases anxiety levels. This doesn’t just extend to pets that children can cuddle. Talking to a bird or a fish can also benefit a child’s temperament.
7. Teaches About Loss or Grief
Pets are often seen as family members; they teach children how to deal with grief when they die. Loss is complex to navigate, and sometimes a pet dying will be the first time a child experiences the death of a loved one. Children will learn coping skills and the importance of a support system as you help them process this loss.
8. Pets Can Change Behavior
Pets have needs and personalities that are their own. They make mistakes, get scared, and have strengths and weaknesses. They also need to communicate their wants and needs, and your child will need to learn the pet’s routine and anticipate its needs. They will learn to be tolerant of differences and accept new responsibilities.
9. Teach Social Skills
Pets provide lessons in boundaries, respect, connection, and empathy. Pets need attention and care, and a child must be empathetic and compassionate to form a strong bond with their pet.
10. They’re Fun!
Whichever pet you have, the truth is that having a pet is fun. Each has its own unique personality that you and your child will enjoy getting to know.
There are many reasons a pet makes the perfect addition to a family. When making this decision, you must also consider which animal is suitable for your family. Research is your best friend, as is discussing it with your family. Pets take up a lot of space and demand attention, so the whole family needs to be on board. Whichever pet you select, we’re sure it’ll be no time before it’s fast friends with everyone, not just your kid!
Featured Image Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay