Being a parent with a youngster on your hands, the last thing you may want is a pet to take up more of your time! However, studies have shown that pets have many benefit the psychological and social growth of your child.
- Responsibility: Pets are an excellent way to teach children responsibility from a young age. From as young as 3, your child can fill the water bowl and feed their pets, and older kids can be in charge of grooming and walking. Having a pet encourages children to look beyond themselves and to take care of another living, breathing thing, fostering a sense of responsibility.
- Empathy: Children are encouraged to look at the needs of something other than themselves. They are encouraged to notice if “Fluffy” is hungry, scared or happy and adjust their behaviour accordingly which promotes empathy.
- Get Your Kids Outside: In today’s society, it is common for children to sit inside playing video games or playing on iPads inside. Having a pet is the perfect way to get your children active and playing outdoors. From walking the dog, to playing fetch, your kids are encouraged to spend more time outside which contributes to a healthier lifestyle.
- Social Development: Pets can help socialize children and help develop verbal skills. Studies have shown that children, particularly shy or autistic children, feel more comfortable talking to animals. Having a pet provides kids with a forum to practice their speech on a non-judgmental figure and the pet acts as another being to socialize with, thus helping children to develop their cognitive language skills
- Family Bond: Sharing the love of a pet is an excellent means of bringing the family together and promoting bonding. Having a pet often facilitates more family activities, such as playing with a ball in the park which further promotes family bonding.
- Health Benefits: Studies have shown that petting an animal can reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Additionally, children who grow up with pets in the home are less likely to develop common allergies and asthma later on in life.
With animals being as cute as they are, do you really need another reason to add a new member to your family? If you’re not ready to take on a dog or cat – you could start off small with a fish, bird or even a hamster!