Why Every Child Should Grow Up With Pets
Having an animal companion is a wonderful and enriching experience for a child. It shapes them in many ways and can help them develop an earlier sense of devotion and love.
Here are six of our favourite examples of why growing up with animals is a no brainer:
Did you know that children who grow up with animals have less risk of developing allergies and asthma? Studies have also shown that pets reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. Just petting an animal releases built-up tensions and slows the heart rate down. Not to mention, pet owners are overall more physically active people.
Children who are just learning to read often get self-conscious about reading aloud around other people. Educators have long known that bringing therapy animals (mostly dogs) into schools helps developmentally challenged kids learn. Now they are finding that all children can benefit from the presence of a nonjudgmental pal with paws. In one study, children were asked to read in front of a peer, an adult, and a dog. Researchers monitored their stress levels, and found that kids were most relaxed around the animal, not the humans.
Since dogs (and most pets) will be happy just to be around children while they read aloud to them, the resulting feeling of confidence will do wonders for their reading ability.
Respect and Empathy:
Animals are living and feelings beings. They have both physical and emotional needs. If you teach a child to treat an animal with care, to respect their need for space, play with them gently, and always approach them with love, kindness and compassion (they are a member of the family after all), this can easily translate into treating people the same way.
Pets are great company, they are happy when you’re around, and their love is unconditional. It’s been said that a pet is just part of your world, but to them, you’re their whole world.
Pets Bring the Family Together:
It can be hard to make time together as a family, with school, work, sports, after-school activities, and all the other day-to-day things that grab our attention. But having a pet can actually bring parents and children closer by coming together to care for the new family member. It takes teamwork and time (hello family bonding) to care for the new addition.
The go-to answer. It’s a good one. Pet-related chores is a great way to instill the notion of responsibility and dependability in the life of a child. Age-appropriate tasks like playing with the family pet, or filling the feeding dishes will show them how important it is to follow through with their daily tasks.