Most children have a love of animals, and it is something that we nurture with stuffed toys, storybook characters, the designs on their clothes, the décor in their rooms, and the trips we take them on (what kid doesn’t like a trip to the zoo?). Slightly less than half of all children are born into a family with a pet and roughly 90 percent of all children will have a pet at some point in their childhood.
My son, Andrew, had a number of pets. We had a cat when he was born and ended up adopting another one. Later, we had rats. Then it was back to cats, specifically Sebastian, a male cat that is very special to him. Now, at 21, my son still carries that cat around and calms him and plays with him. Sebastian follows Andrew everywhere and waits outside the bathroom door while he showers. They are tightly bonded.
I didn’t bring any of the pets into the house because I was trying to attain specific benefits from pet ownership, but there have been some wide-ranging ones, many of which I didn’t anticipate. I would have been satisfied to have Andrew learn some empathy and responsibility, but he learned so much more.
The following are a few reasons that a pet could be a great addition to your child’s life.
Pets Are Allergy Fighters
A lot of people think that a pet in the home will cause a child to develop allergies, but the opposite seems to be true. Studies show that children who grow up with furry pets—like cats and dogs, but even rodents and farm animals—have a smaller risk of developing asthma and allergies. They also have less chance of developing eczema and have more developed immune systems.
Some people think it is because pets expose babies and children to allergens and dirt, which builds up little one’s immune systems.
Pets Help Children Make Friends
It seems like children are never at a loss for words, but they may still become shy and have trouble connecting with other children. Having a pet gives them something to talk about and a pet like a dog, that goes on outings with them gives them a conversation starter, a sense of authority (no one knows the dog better than they do), and a sense of security.
And, if they continue having a hard time reaching out and forming friendships, they have the unconditional love of a pet to buoy them until they make some human playmates.
Pets Bond Families
Pets are a part of the family, a part that—like your child—needs a lot of help. Pets need feeding, play time, cleaning, and interaction. All of these become activities that the family participates in. Plus, people end up spending a lot of time together watching pets. Playing in the back yard can be a wonderful opportunity to spend time as a family and can be made safer for everyone with dog fences at Paw Castle. Anyone with a cat knows that everything stops to watch the cat chase a string like a maniac. Rats can be trained to walk a tightrope. Dogs chase their tales and bark at themselves in mirrors. Pets give a family the time to relax and connect with each other.
Bess Marshall is the proud mother of three children and the owner of one cat and one dog. Thankfully, they all get along. She is also a full-time freelance writer when the kids and pets aren’t keeping her busy. She writes for a number of parenting publications as well as addiction related articles such as where we can find best. <a href=” http://www.rehabcenters.com/free” target=”_blank” rel=”dofollow”> free rehab centers </a>.