Whether it’s walking your golden lab in the nearby park or curling up to watch your favourite show, tabby cat in your lap - many of us have fond memories of growing up with pets in the house. Although many parents find multiple reasons against having an animal at home while raising children, there are just too many positive effects of doing so to ignore! So read on to see why now is the right time to get a four-legged friend to be your little one’s new bestie!
1) Your Kid’s Will Never Know Loneliness
It’s pretty hard to feel lonely when you have a furry little friend dedicated just to you! Dogs in particular are incredibly loyal, and even having a kitten rubbing against your feet or looking at you for a ball of yarn can foster a loving relationship with your little one. Whether you have a puppy hanging out by your kids play set, playing alongside them on the toddler outside play equipment or bouncing around on the mini kids trampoline, your little ones will never be lacking in attention!
2) They Encourage Kids To Connect And Engage With Their Environment
Josh Cox, from Reptile Encounters, explains how his experience with children has demonstrated how animals help them reconnect to the world around them! Reptile Encounters is a melbourne-based mobile zoo delivering interactive and educational wildlife programs to schools. He is also an author of “Better Humans”, available in November this year. Find out more about the company on Facebook and Instagram.
“Currently our society is becoming more and more disconnected from nature and the environment. Children are getting less exposure to animals and spend more time on technology than ever before. This is having serious adverse effects on children. They become disconnected from the environment, they are disengaged in the classroom, they lack respect for authority and have a lack of perspective. Having a pet can help to teach kids responsibility, give them confidence, respect for animals, empathy and if they have a dog, get them outdoors and exercising.”
3) They Help Your Kids Develop Fundamental Life Skills
Katherine Stewart, who has grown up being surrounded by animals, explains how furry friends can help little ones develop skills they need in life:
“As a final year occupational therapy student, I work with children with learning difficulties, developmental delays and behavioural issues. The cause of these concerns often stem from a lack of attention, poor social skills, and low self-esteem. Having pets in the household is a sure way to help children develop these fundamental life skills. Due to the interaction and reciprocation that occurs organically between children and pets, children can learn to read nonverbal cues from their environment. In turn, helping them to develop cognitively, emotionally and socially. As well as being a source of positivity, gratitude and unconditional love, pets encourage kids to be more active and spend less time on screens. Paying attention to our pets in the household is a form of practicing mindfulness in everyday life.”
4) Pets Develop Empathy & Responsibility In Kids
Having a pet to take care of most definitely develops the caring side of children, as they now have someone to look after besides themselves. This can in fact stop them from becoming self-centered and only worrying about their own wants and needs. Louise, from Honey & Co Club explains why a dog is such a good companion for your child:
“A dog is a great companion for young children growing up as they learn to develop various skills such as sharing, nurturing, empathy and responsibility. There is no judgement from your family pet dog, they are always there to uplift a sad child when needed and make them feel loved and wanted. Our family pet labrador, Honey, is such an integral part of our family, our daily walks with our preschooler strengthens their bond as they explore the neighbourhood together. Honey is now the mascot for our family business, Honey & Co Club, a kids subscription service. Honey encourages kindness and the excitement of play and adventure.”
5) Having A Pet Is Actually Great For Your Health!
Pets are great for your kids health in more ways than one! The most obvious reason is that, especially if you own a dog, you’ll spend way more time outdoors, soaking up that vitamin D (Just don’t forget your sunscreen!) You’ll probably be walking them in nearby parks and playgrounds, and in general getting way more exercise than the family currently does.
Also, it’s been proven that kids who grow up around pets are in fact less likely to develop certain allergies, as they have grown up around particular types of bacteria that they would otherwise not be significantly exposed to. They may end up with less infections, and respiratory problems that are common amongst other children of their age group. Pets for the win!
So what are you waiting for? Head down to the pet store and pick up your new puppy, kitten or even a goldfish! Your kid’s infectious excitement will have you grinning too!