Benefits of Having Pets for Child Development

By Ashy Zacharia|4 - 5 mins read| March 22, 2023

If you have ever shared your home with a pet, you know that they can bring love, happiness, and companionship into your family and life. With minimal effort, pets make our lives joyous. Be it a dog, a fish, a cat, a bird, or even a turtle, they make us happy and give companionship with their loyalty. What are the benefits of children growing up with the Pets?

Why is it important for kids to have pets? Growing up with pets can contribute significantly to early childhood development. Research has demonstrated that kids who grew up with pets in their homes are healthier and mentally stable as compared to kids who did not have pets. Here are five reasons to support that

Benefits of Pets for Child Development

1. Long-term health benefits

Pets make us happy but Do pets really benefit children’s health? They play a vital role in ensuring long-term health benefits to children. As per a study conducted in 2012, the children who grow up with pets are less likely to get respiratory problems or ear infections, which they usually tend to develop in their early years. Also, thanks to early exposure to bacteria, they are less likely to develop common allergies. This happens because animals like dogs and cats tend to lick children when they play together. That lick transfers bacteria that live in animals’ mouths, and the exposure to the bacteria may change the way the child’s immune system responds to other allergens. You can also read reasons for your kids to have a pet dog.

2. Family Harmony

Pet ownership has a valuable effect on the harmony of the family. Pets could become the center of attraction of every fun family traditions. Spending time with the pet together as a family slows down the hectic pace of lives. Research has shown that families with pets spend more time together. Pets create a jolly environment for families. A joyous family is the foundation of a child’s development.  

3. Responsibility & Empathy

Pets are part of the family. Caring for a pet inevitably involves taking up their complete responsibilities. These responsibilities help children in understanding the value of life. In addition to that, research has shown that children who grew up with pets are empathetic in nature. This happens because they become compassionate towards their pet’s needs and mainly fears. As a result, they grow into individuals who are kind and friendly towards other humans and animals. 

4. Cognitive Development

Growing up with a pet can speed up learning language and improve verbal aptitudes in children. Truth be told, they don’t simply restrict themselves to playing with their pets but, connect with them through verbal and non-verbal language. Moreover, communicating with animals helps children battling stammers.

5. Pet Therapy

Animals offer exceptional emotional support and can relieve negative emotions like stress. Pets offer unconditional support without making children feel judged or criticized. Research has found that children with pets were significantly calmer around animals than humans because of the unconditional love they receive. As part of a research experiment, children were asked to tell whom they would talk to if they were in a difficult spot, and most of them mentioned their pets. 

Having a pet is a delightful experience. Adopting a pet, conclusively, appears to be the best choice. But, always keeping in mind that a pet has its needs and the host family may have to adapt to some changes.

Factors to Consider Before Adopting A Pet

Having said that, it is essential to pick the right kind of pet for your child as well as for your household. But, there are a lot of factors to look at before adopting a pet. These include

  • availability – are you certain that you can commit your time and energy for this new member of the family?;
  • space and location – some pets require space to be well trained;
  • current and future financial status – are you certain that you have enough funding for the upbringing of your pet?; and
  • special needs of animals such as cats require litter box.

Best Breeds for Kids

Some breeds that are ideal for children- 

  • Dogs – A dog is a man’s best friend. Child-friendly breeds include Labrador retrievers, pugs, golden retrievers, and cocker spaniels.
  • Cats – A cat is suitable for a household with little space as they require less attention than dogs. American shorthairs, Burmese cats, and Abyssinians cats typically have friendly temperaments suited for children.

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About The Author:

Ashy Zacharia

Last Updated: Wed Mar 22 2023

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