The Benefits of Growing Up with a Pet
Growing up with a pet improves children's physical and mental health, helps them express themselves and interact, and also instills important values in them.
Many times, parents don’t know if they should add a pet to their family. The responsibility of taking care of another living being or fear that it won’t be the best thing for their child makes it hard for them to decide. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits that come with growing up with a pet.
Before deciding to have a pet
As a preliminary step, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this decision. Bringing a pet home should never be taken lightly or an impulsive gift. On the contrary, it must be a well thought-out and responsible decision.
Never forget that, from the start, this animal will be a part of your family and you have to treat it as such. Your pets will accompany you until the end of their life and you must honor their presence in yours.
On the other hand, you have to consider what’s the best time to make this addition. Some parents want to wait until their children are a certain age and able to care for the pet, while others prefer for the animal to grow alongside their children and they adopt it when their child is still very small.
The best pets for children
As there are many different options, each family must choose the pet that best suits their desires and lifestyles. If you don’t have too much time or space, some appropriate options may be fish or hamsters. These animals require little care and can offer some of the advantages of growing up with a pet.
Rabbits are also a good choice because they know how to relate to people and are affectionate animals who like human contact.
However, if you have enough time to care for them, dogs and cats are undoubtedly the best choices in terms of the benefits they can offer your children.
The benefits of growing up with a pet
Better physical health
Research shows that having a dog at home improves the blood pressure of those who live with them. In addition, children who are raised with animals since they’re very young develop a stronger immune system and have less risk of suffering allergies, asthma, and ear infections, in addition to suffering from colds less frequently.
On the other hand, having a pet at home (especially dogs and cats) will instill in children a healthy active lifestyle and way of playing.
Better mental, social, and emotional health as benefits of growing up with a pet
Pet therapy to work with children with autism or hyperactivity is becoming increasingly common, as it helps regulate aggression and restlessness in children.
In addition, it’s been shown that children who relate to animals have a better social adaptation. Especially for socially withdrawn children, pets (mainly dogs) offer them the security that they fail to obtain from the world.
In contrast to adults, dogs communicate with children in a simple and sincere way, they aren’t critical, and know how to forgive quickly. In addition, their mood is stable and they’re always ready to provide affection. All this helps children build self-esteem and self-confidence.
On the other hand, children perceive pets as the greatest source of emotional support after their parents. The bond with their pet helps them express and overcome emotions such as fear or sadness, as they consider them a safe haven in which to find relief when they’re scolded or when they feel separation anxiety if their parents aren’t home.
Children who are in contact with animals can acquire very important values in a natural way, without constant explanations. Having a pet fosters responsibility (as they have to understand and take care of their needs), empathy, respect, and unconditional love. In addition, it helps children express affection in an open way and teaches them the meaning of loyalty and brotherhood.