10 Reasons why pets are great for kidsJun 05, 2022
The Benefits of Pets
Children love their pets -- and for good reason. Creatures large and small teach, delight, and offer a special kind of companionship.
Everyone knows that kids love animals. A quick safari through your child's bedroom will remind you just how densely imaginary critters populate the storybooks, movies, music, toys, decor, and clothes of childhood. Overall, an estimated 4 in 10 children begin life in a family with domestic animals, and as many as 90 percent of all kids live with a pet at some point during their childhood. The presence of animals in our homes helps foster emotional, cognitive, social, and physical development in our children.
Here are the top 10 reasons why having a pet is actually good for your children’s health and development.
1. Teaches responsibility
Tasks such as walking the dog or cleaning out the rabbit hutch teaches children to be responsible, as well as giving them a sense of achievement. Looking after a pet also helps children to develop empathy for others.
2. Helps with learning
Pets can help children with their learning. Educators have long used animals (mainly dogs) as a form of therapy in schools, using them to help developmentally challenged kids to learn. In particular, animals can help children’s reading skills. Research has shown that students who may be reluctant to read out loud at school feel more confident reading to animals as they see them as a non-judgemental pal.
3. Provides comfort and companionship
Pets offer comfort and companionship to kids. No matter what mood they are in, children find support and security from their animal companion, which often means they are less anxious or withdrawn.
4. They keeps families talking
Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these simple but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.
5. Encourages a healthy lifestyle
From walking the dog to playing with the family rabbit in the garden, having a pet helps to prompt a healthy lifestyle for their young owners, encouraging them to be outside and running around.
6. Lowers blood pressure
Stroking animals can lower blood pressure and in turn decrease anxiety, thus having a pet can help prepare kids when it comes to tackling homework and exams.
7. Reduces loneliness
Having a pet can help ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation, and keep depression at bay. These health benefits even extend to owning a budgie.
8. Teaches the circle of life
Although most parents want to protect their children from the cruelties of the world, having a pet allows kids to understand and learn about the cycle of life. Dealing with the death of a pet can actually help them cope with other challenging life events.
9. Kids learn respect and empathy for others
Animals are feeling, thinking beings with both physical and emotional needs. Children should be reminded to treat pets with care, play gently with them, and respect their need for space. When parents teach kids to approach pets with kindness, love, and compassion, this easily translates into treating other human beings the same way.
10. They’re fun!
Most importantly having a pet is fun. Whether it is a dog, cat, bird or hamster, owning an animal brings enjoyment to any household.
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