Every child longs for a pet, whether it is a dog, hamster or fish. Although pet ownership can be a bit trying for parents, it is a worthwhile endeavor that will benefit children tremendously throughout their lives. There are many benefits that children will experience growing up with pets.
1. Teaches Responsibility
Having a pet, and having a child care for this pet, is a great way to teach responsibility. Making sure that Rover is fed, watered and walked gives children a first glimpse at what it’s like to have a life which is not centered only on self. Often, this is the first taste of serious responsibility that a youngster sees. Because they love their pet, the task of caring for their kitty cat or pooch is less rebelled against than other less fun responsibility lessons may be.
2. Constant Companionship
Childhood isn’t easy, and while best friends may change 10 times a day, having a pet provides a constant companion for any child. This provides a stronghold which aids the youngster in getting through difficult life lessons. Their pet will always be there for them, even when they get into fights with their friends. Petting and cuddling with dogs and cats is also proven to relieve stress and help people to relax.
3. Enhance Physical and Social Development
Having a pet often enhances both physical and social development. A young lady may notice another person with a similar pet standing next to the fish tank supplies at Big Al’s Pets and feel a strong kinship, which encourages social interaction. Also, when a child has a pet with which to frolic and play, physical development is improved.
4. Enhance Emotional and Cognitive Development
A child often learns empathy and compassion from their pet while experiencing a higher level of self-esteem for taking care of their responsibilities well. Also, it isn’t unusual for children to become infatuated with their pet, which leads to a huge curiosity about the subject. Allowing a child to investigate and study information in books and online about their pets, since it is a subject that they greatly enjoy, enhances cognitive development.
5. Reduced Allergies
At one time, it was believed that children would suffer from worse allergies if they had a pet such as a dog or cat. However, recent studies show that the exact opposite is true and that children with pets have less severe allergies throughout life. Growing up around pets and pet dander actually helps them develop a natural defense to it, and therefore they are less likely to develop serious allergies growing up.
Having a pet as a child brings many responsibilities and difficulties. However, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. There will be struggles for parents of course, like needing to clean up and after and feed pets if their children shirk their responsibilities. However, there are so many benefits that children can have growing up around pets, that is is often well worth the extra work for parents.