If your son or daughter has been hinting or just plain begging for a pet, you might want to consider it. There are benefits to them having a dog, cat, rabbit, bird or another type of pet to care for. It may seem like it will add to your own workload, but the rewards for your child will far outweigh the costs or inconvenience to you.
Pets Inspire Physical and Mental Health
One of the first benefits of getting your child a pet is the possibility of improving their physical health. More exercise can help them fight childhood obesity. Having the responsibility of walking their dog every day or running around the house with a frisky cat can increase their activity level. Active kids are healthier kids.
Higher activity levels when young can help lower the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure as your child reaches adulthood. Pets are also known to help lower stress and blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that young children who are exposed to pets early won’t have near as many allergy and asthma problems relating to pet dander or hair as kids who aren’t allowed to have pets.
Improved mental health is also an added benefit to having a pet – for kids and adults alike. It is widely known that pets help reduce stress and feelings of loneliness or anxiety. Children may turn to their pets when they can’t express their feelings to adults or other kids. Having a supportive friend who listens, doesn’t judge, and loves them unconditionally can help them cope with difficult situations or the stresses of daily life.
Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem
The boosts to a child’s confidence and self-esteem can be substantial when they have the love and care of a pet. This animal is their friend, they depend on them, and they will love them no matter what a child says or does. When they come home from school, that pet is there excitedly waiting for them. They are happy to see them.
Your child’s confidence will continue to grow due to the fact that there is someone who is always so excited to see them. Their pet just wants to be with them. Younger children will especially see improvement in their confidence as they take on more responsibility in caring for their pet.
Pets Teach Responsibility
Don’t forget that pets can also help teach kids responsibility. Having this animal depending upon them for their well-being makes your child accountable. Your child must do what it takes to keep their animal healthy and happy. Encourage them to learn everything they can about their new pet. Aid them in becoming an expert in the care and welfare of their chosen animal.
The regular chores of changing litter boxes, feeding and watering, and exercise start your child on the road to becoming a responsible adult. Even the smaller pets such as fish in a tank or a hamster in a cage have needs that must be attended to. Your child will learn when the tank or cage should be cleaned and what feeds are needed for their pet.
There are very few drawbacks to getting a pet for your child and your family. Growing up with a pet can mean less stress, less loneliness, more confidence, and better health overall for your child. Do a little research and find out what pet might be a perfect fit for your child.
What kind of pets did you have growing up? Do your kids have animals now?