For many children, the idea of owning their very own pet is one of the most exciting things they can think of. It can be so easy to get caught up in the idea of owning one, that the responsibilities attached are not often considered. Luckily, this choice is left up to the parents. There are various aspects to consider when making this decision. Parents not only need to think about the cost, time, and effort involved, but also make sure that the pet receives the care they need and that the child’s experience is also positive. If all goes well, owning a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences for any family. On top of the joy of sharing your home with a beloved animal, there are many other benefits when it comes to children. If you are sitting on the fence, here are some reasons why adding a furry friend to the family can be a positive for your children.
Looking after a pet teaches responsibility
By assigning children daily chores like walking the dog, feeding the cat, or cleaning the fish tank, children learn responsibility. These chores can teach a child the importance of following through with their duties, because if they don’t, they will be letting their pet down.
Pets contribute to a healthier lifestyle
There are a range of health benefits to owning a pet. Not only are pet owners generally more physically active, but they are reported to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, less risk of heart disease and a stronger immune system. Children who grow up in homes with pets also have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.
Caring for a pet teaches children empathy
Pets have physical and emotional needs just like we do. When children understand this, they learn to treat pets with love and compassion. Over time, children learn to respect their space and to play with them with care. This empathy is something that can easily be carried with them their whole lives and relate to how they treat other people.
Pets often provide mental health benefits
Having a pet nearby can often ward off feelings of loneliness and keep depression at bay, making growing up an easier experience. They offer comfort and support, giving pet owners more confidence due to that support. Some other health benefits seen in pet owners include reduced blood pressure, stress levels, depression and anxiety in people of all ages.
Pets strengthen the family bond
Taking care of a pet is something that the whole family will often be involved in. Whether its taking the dog for a walk, or taking turns feeding the cat, it often requires sharing and teamwork. This teamwork keeps communication open and strengthens the family bond. For this reason, it’s more common to see pet owning families interact with each other more than families who do not own a pet.
At Cheeky Munchkins Early Learning Centre we encourage kindness and consideration to all living things.