There are many benefits for children who grow up caring for pets. Here, we look at the top five:
1. Lessons for life
A pet will teach your little one a great deal about love and life. Living with an animal will help your child to develop valuable qualities including empathy, compassion and consideration for others.
2. They teach us more than we realise
It’s more than likely the main responsibilities of caring for a pet will fall to the adults. But, even the smallest children can pick up a thing or two about responsibility from caring for an animal. Pouring food into a bowl, washing and grooming or fetching the dog’s lead for a walk will demonstrate the necessity of completing daily chores and the importance of a routine for your pet.
3. Improved academic performance
Studies suggest that having a pet can boost children’s academic performance. Studies show that reading aloud to a loyal and nonjudgmental companion, like a cat, can take a reluctant reader and transfer them into a self-confident one.
4. They help families to communicate
Pets certainly keep families talking, and can often act as a conduit between parents and kids. If you’re introducing more than one pet into your family, or welcoming an additional pet, it’s important to talk to children about the new arrival well in advance. Encourage the children to choose the pet’s name, but also be clear on the fact that the new kitten or puppy is not a toy.
5. They’re good for everyone’s health
Experts believe that pets have a direct positive impact on human health. Some studies suggest that exposure to dogs and cats can even reduce allergies in children. Scientists have also found that simply being around animals can lower stress and blood pressure and even help to regulate the human heart rate. Any pet owner will attest to the fact that brushing, stroking or patting a four-legged friend is equally as calming for adults as it is for children. Families with dogs are more likely to be fitter and more active, thanks to the time they spend outdoors, taking their pooch for walks and runs and to play.