By Emma Williams
A vast majority of households around the world owns at least one family pet. The usual choices include parrots, hamsters, fish, guinea pigs and most commonly cats and dogs.
However, many parents are afraid to bring a pet into their home due to fear of allergies the child might develop, the mess the pet can create and the responsibility a pet imposes.
Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that having a pet actually has many benefits for your child, including both physical and mental ones as well as some valuable life lessons.
Read on to learn why every child should have a pet.
Owning a pet brings many physical advantages
There are many benefits of pets for kids including both physical and mental ones. Bringing a pet into your life provides plenty of space for physical growth and development.
Some of the benefits include a more active lifestyle, developing immunities and a healthier heart.
1. More active lifestyle
Owning a pet, especially a dog can make your child’s lifestyle more active. This is because dogs need to be walked and trained regularly in order to assure they have a happy and long-lasting life.
Recent studies have found that children who own a dog get some extra minutes of exercise every day. Moreover, kids enjoy walking their dog and training them by throwing a ball or a Frisbee and running around the park and they don’t consider it an obligation but rather a fun activity.
Moreover, cats also enjoy some exercise and playtime in the park or backyard as they are quite curious creatures. Exactly because of their curious character, they can sometimes wander off during playtime.
In order to help yourself if this happens, it’s a good idea to start looking for some cat ID tags and finding the one that matches your cat’s personality. In that way, if they wander off it will be much easier to find them.
2. Developing immunities
Numerous studies have researched the connection of newborns, owning pets and different kinds of illnesses and allergies and they have concluded that living with a pet increases the child’s immune system.
The reason for this is that pets bring dirt in and the kids get used to these conditions, which makes their immune system stronger and less susceptible to different allergies.
3. Healthier heart
When owning a pet, children have the chance to interact with them every day. This helps decrease the stress children feel, it also makes them happy by releasing endorphins and it lowers their blood pressure.
The heart also benefits from the cardio exercises a child does while walking or playing with their pet.
Owning a pet improves mental and emotional wellbeing
Besides the physical advantages, owning a pet also improves the mental and emotional wellbeing of your child. How come? It is proven that animals have a positive effect on a person’s mental wellbeing in many ways.
4. Stress relief
Pet therapy is one of the most popular forms of stress relief therapies as when people interact or stroke their loving pet, their bodies release endorphins, which reduce the stress level. The same goes for kids, who are especially sensitive.
So, owning a pet can have a significantly positive impact on your child’s mental strength in the long run.
5. More confidence
Some people have difficulties with their self-confidence and it doesn’t come naturally for them. So, having a trusting and loving pet helps them gain confidence by always being there for them and expressing joy for being treated well.
They can be especially helpful for kids who have trouble making new friends. Having a pet makes them feel appreciated and secured and they can boost their sense of independence and confidence.
6. Emotional growth
Pets help kids to grow emotionally – kids start perceiving that someone else’s needs come before their own.
When the kid realizes that their pet needs to be fed, walked and taken care of every day, it means that they have grasped the concept of responsibility.
Pets teach our children valuable life lessons
As seen previously, having a pet brings about many advantages for your kids and their development and growth. Pets also teach them some valuable life lessons they can only benefit from.
For example, owning a pet teaches kids to be responsible for taking care of another living being. It teaches them to fulfill their duties and their role as a pet owner. A pet can also help a child who suffers from social anxiety by giving him or her gentle positive encouragement.
Owning a pet makes children go outside and interact with other children. Moreover, taking care of a pet teaches children some important parenthood lessons.
Your child can only benefit from owning a pet. You need to make sure that the pet is suitable for the place you live in, your lifestyle as well as the child’s age and choose it accordingly.
You also need to explain to your child what to do, when and how and remind him or her about their responsibilities until they create their own routine.