If you grew up with a pet, then no doubt you will have many happy memories of the time you had together. As it happens, just over sixty percent of American homes have a pet, meaning we are a nation that loves animals. However, there are still just under forty percent of homes that have no pet at all. With all of the benefits that come from raising children around pets, then it seems quite a sad statistic. If you’re not convinced about raising your children around animals, then here are some ideas and reason to get you inspired.
- Children that grow up around a pet are reported to have fewer health problems, especially when it comes to respiratory problems. So if you’re putting off getting a pet cat or dog because of them shedding, then it won’t be affecting your health as you might have thought.
- Pets can teach children responsibility. If they have a dog that needs to be walked or a fish that needs to be fed each day, then it gives them responsibility over that pet. This is an important lesson for us all to learn, so why not when they are young? Seeing the consequences of their actions, in both a positive and negative way, is also a good life lesson.
- Teaching children empathy and to have a nurturing side to them is also an important lesson that can be a result of having pets. Like us, our pets will get sick from time to time. But being able to care for a sick pet can be a great lesson for our children. Plus, if you have to give medication to your pet, such as equine laminitis treatment for your horse or an anti-tick and flea treatment for a dog, it requires time and patience. All good things to be learning when our children are younger.
- Studies have shown that children that grow up with a close animal companion are likely to have much higher self-esteem. You can see from some of the points above, that improved self-esteem could come from the things children learn as they have a pet; a kind of feeling of independence. It could just be that having a pet makes them more confident and like they are never alone. Either way, it is not going to be a bad thing for them.
- If you have children that are on the autistic spectrum or are diagnosed with ADHD, then having a pet at home, or a therapy dog has been shown to help them gain more confidence. It has also been recorded to show that autistic children’s speech and communication can be improved with a pet, as well as lowering their blood pressure.
If you’re thinking of getting a pet for your family, then as you can see, it is pretty much a no-brainer! Not only do they help in all of the ways mentioned above, but they also help to create a sense of fun at home as your children will always have a playmate that can feel just like part of the family.