06 Jun Why is a Pet Good Company for Your Child
Children adore pets. Pets make wonderful companions for kids and can teach them invaluable lessons like compassion, empathy, and responsibility. Growing up with a pet is an experience no child should miss out on, as kids grow socially and develop a connection and understanding with their environment as a result of growing up with an animal. Here’s everything you need to know about kids and pets.
Kids Grow with Pets
Kids can learn invaluable lessons by being around their pets. For instance, while many children clamour for a pet, few are aware of how much effort and care a pet requires. Pets are similar to babies, wherein they rely on us for their every need. They need food, exercise, and affection, they need to be bathed, vaccinated, and groomed.
All of these needs must be met on a near-daily basis, without fail. Taking care of these needs teach a child the priceless lesson of responsibility, and what it means to be responsible for someone else who relies on them.
Pets Teach Compassion
Being responsible for a pet also teaches a child compassion. When a kid takes care of a pet, they learn to tend to a silent companion who cannot speak and is dependent upon them. Taking care of their pets’ daily needs teaches them compassion as they learn to be kind and empathetic towards others. As a result, the bond created between a child and their pet is incredibly strong.
Pets Cultivate Respect
The next lesson a kid learns through their pet is respect. Children often disregard any needs other than their own, as they lack the emotional maturity to do otherwise. Living with a pet will teach them how to respect boundaries, for example, not to bother their pet while eating or during naptime. This is a difficult lesson to teach younger children which a pet can teach at an early age. A pet is loyal as well; another important value that your child can instill in themselves by observing them.
A pet is also comforting to children and adults alike. There is a reason dogs are trained to be therapy dogs or emotional support animals; they reduce anxiety, pain, and depression in humans. Simply petting a dog is scientifically proven to relax our mood automatically.
Pets Strengthen Family Ties
Finally, a pet can bring a family together. Familial ties are improved when a pet is a part of the family; think about it, when was the last time you ever thought of your pet as anything but your baby? A pet often becomes a central part of the family unit, bringing everybody together over a walk or some belly rubs. Most importantly, a pet reminds us what’s important in life; slowing down and enjoying a moment of peace, serenity, and love with your family.
Choosing an Appropriate Pet
This is one of the most important things to decide. A pet is a full-time commitment, so you should choose one that fits you and your family’s lifestyle. While a cat or a dog may be the popular choice, the reality is they are a little harder to care for. Children under 5 years old cannot be left alone with a cat/dog, and children over 5 still have to be supervised when interacting with them.
If your child is young, you will probably have to step up and take responsibility for the pet, so take into consideration your schedule and routine to ensure you have enough time to take care of a pet. If you’re out of the house for most of the day, maybe consider getting a pet which requires minimal care and can be left home alone. A fish tank, hamster, or turtle is better suited for those who are not at home much or desire a low-maintenance pet.
Whatever pet you decide to get, make sure it fits your needs and lifestyle. Can’t take care of a pet all day and travel a lot? Go for a low-maintenance pet. Want an energetic companion to be by your side for the foreseeable future? A dog might suit you best. Take into consideration your lifestyle, work hours, children & their needs, and home situation to make a clear decision. As long as you can account for these factors, you should end up with the animals that suit you best. Remember, there is no right or wrong pet, just ensure to get a pet that best fits your lifestyle and the lifestyle of your children.