Of the many reasons to get a pet for your household, perhaps one of the biggest and most influential ones is that it’s great for your kids. Having a pet has many benefits for your children, and not just with social aspects or self esteem—pets can actually help your children develop great immunity. So whether you’d like a pooch or a kitty for your home, check out these reasons why pets are great for your kids!
1. They Teach Responsibility
Having a pet in your home helps to teach your children responsibility. Even if you have a six-month-old or a toddler, they can help in small ways to take care of the animal. This helps to instill in children that animals need care and they need to be treated kindly. As your child gets older, you can teach him or her how to feed Fido and take Fido outside to play.
Pets also help your children to realize that creatures need gentle handling. Their care and nurturing of a pet can teach them empathy and compassion for creatures, but also with people too. Having a pet can teach your kids some valuable life lessons!
2. They Increase Self-Esteem
Nothing boosts your self-esteem like having an animal who adores you. Kids who have pets tend to have higher self-esteem and even perform better in school. It can also help kids to feel important and needed when taking care of a pet. Pets also function as many children’s first best friend. Kids share a unique relationship with their pet and love to play with pets, spend time with them, and even read to them.
Having a dog, cat, rabbit, or bird in the house can make your child feel great about him or herself in addition to teaching them responsibility and empathy for others.
3. Your Children Are Less Likely to Get Allergies
Research shows that having a pet in the house when your child is a newborn or before your child is six months old shows that your child is less likely to get allergies later in life. The research also shows that your child is less likely to suffer from skin problems such as eczema and respiratory problems with a dog in the house at birth.
Your child’s immune system could benefit from having a pet in the house—pets may play an important role in building up your child’s immunity to different allergens. What more of a reason could you want to get a dog?
4. They Reduce Stress
Reducing stress may be even more important for parents than it is for kids, but regardless, having a pet can help you reduce stress and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Some people may think the contrary—that having the extra responsibility of caring for a pet can be more stressful. However, having a pet to care for has many health benefits.
Having a pet encourages you to get outside and exercise, socialize with other pet owners, and be affectionate. Getting exercise, talking with others, and snuggling with your pet can all help reduce your stress. These are big benefits compared to the extra expense and care a pet will require!
Dr. Mike Maddux of Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center shares that “for a very small time commitment, a pet can greatly improve the quality of life for you and your family.”
Getting a pet for your household is a big decision. Consider adopting a dog that’s already been trained and outgrown that puppy stage from a shelter. There are plenty of dogs and cats out there that need homes. If your schedule doesn’t allot for regular walks, consider getting a bunny.
Having a pet can help build your child’s immunity, reduce stress, build self-esteem, and teach responsibility. What are you waiting for? Adopt a pet today!