If your son or daughter has been begging you for a dog, cat, rabbit, or other type of pet, here are some reasons to consider letting them have one. While in some ways it is more work for you, pets provide a lot of amazing benefits for children.
Children Will be Healthier
The first main benefit of letting your children have a pet is that they can improve their physical health. Your child is going to get more exercise, regardless of the type of pet you get, which can then help them fight childhood obesity. This also helps them to lower their risk of heart disease and high blood pressure as they start getting older. If you want your child to be more active on a regular basis, get them a dog that needs to be walked every day, or a cat that often likes play time and running around the house with your child. There have also been studies that show younger children who are exposed to pets early won’t have as many allergy and asthma problems as a result of pet dander as they get older. This is true- we had 2 cats and 4 dogs when my son was born, he didn’t have any allergies growing up!
They Help With Confidence and Self-Esteem
Children often have better self-confidence and feel good about themselves when they have a pet. Every day they get home from school, and their pet is just happy to see them. Day by day, your child’s confidence grows because they have someone that is always so excited to just be around them. Taking care of the pet can also gradually improve their self-confidence, especially for younger children. Knowing that they are making sure their pet is healthy makes them feel great. Be sure to take them along to vet appointments so they know exactly what is involved in pet care.
Pets Teach Responsibility
Don’t forget that pets can also help to teach kids responsibility. It makes your child accountable for the pet’s well being, where they understand that the pet needs to be fed and given water every day, the litter box needs to be changed or the dog needs to be taken out and to go on walks regularly. Even if you have a smaller pet, such as fish or a hamster, their cage or fish tank needs to be cleaned and they still need to be fed, which helps your child learn the importance of responsibility.
Pets Show Us Unconditional Love
Some people just don’t understand WHY we love our pups as much as we do. My answer is always because not matter what we do, they ALWAYS love us! This is an important lesson for kids to learn, we love them no matter what they do, just like dogs love us. This pet will always love them, no matter what. The unconditional love and lack of judgment goes far with a sensitive child. It improves their self-esteem to know dogs will always love them. Being loved is one of the best feelings in the world!
Having a child that grows up with a pet means having a child with less stress, less loneliness, more confidence, more love and better physical health overall. There are very few drawbacks.