Kids and Pets

Odds are good that if you think back to your child­hood, you have cher­ished mem­o­ries of a favorite furry pal. Be it a cat or dog, rab­bit or ham­ster, you likely shared some pretty pow­er­ful for­ma­tive expe­ri­ences with your favorite pet. Now your kids are bug­ging you for a pet of their own. If your own mem­o­ries aren’t enough to con­vince you, here are a few more rea­sons it’s a good idea for kids to have pets.

  • Pets pro­vide com­pan­ion­ship, and help alle­vi­ate lone­li­ness for kids.
  • Pets give kids an excuse to get up, go out­side, and run around. That pro­motes car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, as well as motor skills.
  • Kids who have pets are less likely to develop aller­gies, asthma, and ele­vated blood pressure.
  • Pets facil­i­tate social inter­ac­tion. Kids are more likely to approach other kids if play with a pet is involved.
  • Car­ing for a pet gives kids a chance to develop nur­tur­ing and care­giv­ing skills.
  • Car­ing for a pet is an excel­lent way for kids to learn responsibility.
  • Inter­ac­tion with pets helps fos­ter bet­ter impulse con­trol, non­ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and empathy.
  • Car­ing for a pet can open com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels between kids and parents.
  • Cud­dling a pet can reduce stress and relieve anxiety.

It’s clear that own­ing a pet is a very pow­er­ful expe­ri­ence for a child. If you’re on the fence or wor­ried that the cost and word may be over­whelm­ing, care­fully weigh the pros and cons. You may be shocked to see that the ben­e­fits far out­weigh the drawbacks.