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.