Whether it be a puppy, a kitten, a hamster, a parakeet, or just a simple goldfish, kids love pets. And they all want to own one. As parents, we concentrate on the negative: they have to be fed, walked, trained, and vet bills aren’t cheap! But before you give a resounding NO, check out these 5 benefits for kids who grow up with pets:
There are health benefits for kids who grow up with pets. No really, there are! Studies have shown that playing with dogs may help lower blood pressure and kids who grow up in a home with pets are at less risk of developing common allergies and asthma. It has also been shown that pet owners require fewer doctors visits. And of course, going outside to play with Fido on a regular basis helps keep kids fit and healthy.
Pets help kids learn. Often times kids will practice reading out loud to a pet. Studies have also shown that children with autism and learning disabilities show improvement when a pet is introduced into their home.
Having a pet is good for children’s psychological well being. In fact, children with pets have improved impulse control, social skills, and self-esteem. Also, cuddling with a pet reduces stress, loneliness, and anxiety.
Having a pet teaches responsibility. Feeding and caring for a pet can introduce a child to responsibility at a young age. Having a pet also helps to develop nurturing skills.
Pets encourage family bonding. Family members often bond over the shared love of a pet. Siblings in particular forge an additional bond through sharing the love and care of a family pet.
Pets provide so many benefits to kids. And the biggest benefit of all? The unconditional love a pet will give to your child and your entire family!