Should You Get A Pet? 8 Reasons Why Pets Are Good For Kids

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If your child has been troubling you for a pet and you’re in two minds, whether or not to give in to their desire, consider this your cue to get them a pet already! Yes, we’ve seen in movies, read in books, and witnessed in real life how humans can have some of the most precious bonds with their non-human buddies. It could be a pet cat, a dog, or even just a tiny fish. No matter what, there’s something so lovely about having a pet that you love and care for.

Even if your child hasn’t asked for a pet, and you are contemplating the idea of getting them one, go ahead and do it! You should pursue that idea because it will only do a world of good for them! Here are all the reasons why you should consider getting a pet for your child:

1. Pets Can Alleviate Loneliness

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Having a companion is so important to us all, kids especially so. Pets as companions are a great way to help children not feel lonely. Besides, a friendly pet would definitely bring much joy and excitement to your little one’s life. This step would be a very wise option for parents who have a single child and are worried that s/he will get lonely. Having a pet alleviates loneliness, which can be a great thing, especially if your child finds it hard to make friends. Introverts or children suffering from social anxiety often find hope and companionship with their pets. What’s lovely is that pets wouldn’t do anything intentionally to hurt your child’s feelings. Isn’t that a great thing? (1).

2. Reduced Stress For Kids

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Children, too, have their fair share of stress to deal with. It could be the stress from an upcoming exam, their studies, friendships, or the social circle. Many children find school life challenging thanks to peer pressure, academic challenges, and even trauma from bullying. Studies have shown that interaction with pets could reduce the level of stress. Hormones such as dopamine, and oxytocin, the good hormones that help improve mood, are known to be released during interaction with pets. Incidentally, a reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone, has also been observed (2).

3. Instills A Sense Of Compassion And Empathy

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Pets can’t express their needs and wants vocally — they are entirely dependent on their human parents! With so much dependence involved, your child will slowly learn how to understand their pet. Through the bond they share and daily interactions, your child will be able to empathize with their pet and learn to be compassionate towards them and everyone else. Soon enough, your child will learn to put themselves in the shoes of their pets, and this attitude will become a part of their personality (3).

4. Your Child Will Learn Responsibility

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There are two sides to owning a pet. One is the fun side, where you get to play and have fun or even maybe cuddle if the pet is a furry or cuddly buddy! And then there’s the other side to it — one that requires you to fulfill specific duties. This could be anything from cleaning the litter box, feeding them, or bathing them. It is essential to get your child involved in both sides of owning a pet. This will teach them how to be responsible. Every time they finish a task, they will be filled with a sense of accomplishment.

5. Pets Can Ease Anxiety

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Research suggests that pets can help reduce anxiety. This has mainly been observed in children who have had a history of trauma and abuse. Pets, especially dogs, seem to have a calming effect on kids. In fact, in juvenile courtrooms, judges sometimes have a dog present, as it helps reassure the child and calm them (4).

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to provide your kids a beautiful friendship which they will cherish for a lifetime?

6. Owning A Pet Can Decrease Allergies

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It may seem bizarre, and you’re probably thinking about what owning a pet has to do with decreasing your chances of having allergies. But it’s true. Studies show that children who have pets at home have a stronger immune system than those who do not own one. Additionally, children with pets are less likely to develop asthma and are better equipped to fight the flu and cold! (5).

7. It Can Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle

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Having a pet is known to promote a healthy lifestyle. This can happen in two ways. Activities such as taking your pet for a walk or playing with them can keep you physically active. Another way is that you should be careful about your pet’s nutrition and exercise habits as a pet owner. When your child learns about the importance of good nutrition and health for their pet, they will follow the same in their life (6).

8. Something To Look Forward To Every Day

Should You Get A Pet 8 Reasons Why Pets Are Good For Kids

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With a pet in the house, your child will have the excitement to say hello to the furry animal first thing in the morning. Even when they are at school or on holidays, they will have something to look forward to while coming home. The fun games and activities they share with their pets will bring joy to them in simple yet effective ways. Oftentimes, it’s quite difficult and tiresome for parents to engage with their kids all the time. However, a pet is often energetic enough to keep up with the charades of your little one until they both wear each other out. The enthusiasm that your kid and the pet bring out in each other is a sight to behold.

As you can see, so much good can come from owning a pet! By getting your child a pet, you will help them become responsible, compassionate, and healthy too! Need we say more? What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a pet that your child adores, or are you planning to have one at home? Let us know in the comments below!

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. The Power of Pets
    https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/02/power-pets
  2. Effect of Pet Dogs on Children’s Perceived Stress and Cortisol Stress Response
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400290/
  3. Relationship between emotional intelligence and empathy towards humans and animals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8054732/
  4. Paws for Thought: A Controlled Study Investigating the Benefits of Interacting with a House-Trained Dog on University Students Mood and Anxiety
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826684/
  5. Pet-keeping in early life reduces the risk of allergy in a dose-dependent fashion
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6300190/
  6. Does having a pet influence the physical activity of their young female owners?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6909525/
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