6 Ways Pets Can Enhance Children’s Lives

From teaching love and compassion to curbing allergies later in life, there are many ways pets can enhance children’s lives.

Much can be learned from pets. By: jocelynsart

Almost everyone understands that getting a pet will bring happiness and excitement to your life, no matter whether you are an adult or a child.

Despite this, sometimes we seem to forget all the other ways pets can help us — especially children — grow.

Recent studies even show that having a pet at a young age can improve a child’s health. Pets also teach us about all aspects of life, including the emotional ones.

But how exactly do pets enhance the lives of children? Here are some of the most important ways they can help your kid make the most of his or her childhood.

1. Playmates

Even if your child has plenty of friends or several siblings, he or she can always use an extra friend. And that is exactly what pets are — lifelong friends.

Your kids will be able to have fun and enjoy life when they’re with their pet. It will give them plenty of new games to play, such as fetch with a dog or playing with toys with a cat. Pets are a great way to keep your child entertained, especially if they are an only child.

2. Teaching Responsibility

Children learn that a pet has to be taken care of each day. This means feeding them, cleaning up their waste, playing with them and taking them for walks, as well as special events like taking them to the vet.

Having to take care of another living creature (under their parents’ supervision, of course) will show them that their actions affect others, which is the key to understanding responsibility.

3. Love and Happiness

Almost everyone realizes that happiness goes along with having a playmate. All children have fun when they play, and this will bring them happiness. But that’s not the only way pets can make kids happy. Simply by being with them and showing unconditional love, pets add a great deal to children’s lives.

This unconditional love helps children develop self-esteem and confidence as they will always know that they are loved, not only by their parents, but by their pets as well. Pets also teach kids how to show love for others, a useful life skill that can lead to their happiness later in life.

4. Support and Compassion

Because of their unconditional love, pets are a great source of support and compassion for children. If your child is having a bad day, you can almost always count on your dog (or similar pet) to notice and do their best to cheer the kid up, whether it’s by simply cuddling with them, giving them kisses or making them laugh.

This support, combined with the love pets bring, helps children develop compassion, which they need to help others. This will also help them make lasting, healthy relationships when they become adults.

5. Preventing Allergies and Asthma

New research is showing that pets can help with health in several ways, and that is part of the reason you will see dogs and cats visiting patients in hospitals.

Few people realize, however, that having a pet at a young age can actually help prevent the development of allergies and, in some cases, asthma as well. This is simply because exposure to pets and their dander starting early means that kids won’t be as susceptible to them later. The research related to asthma is ongoing, but it seems that having pets can help prevent it in kids.

6. Understanding How Life Works

By having a pet, your child experiences all of the important stages of life that can sometimes be difficult to explain, such as birth, health, illness, growth and even death.

Although no parents want their child to experience illness or death, if your child is able to understand these life events early on, he or she will be better able to cope with them later. In addition, growing up as their pet grows up gives children someone to share their lives and experiences with as well as a lifelong friend.

You made it to the end of this article, so why not leave a comment? What kind of pet does your kid have? And how has the pet enhanced your child’s life? I’m looking forward to reading the replies.

Jet Perreault

View posts by Jet Perreault
Jet Perreault, a professional dog groomer of 18 years, graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She has spent time on the dog show circuit, working groomer trade shows, and managing grooming salons and pet shops.

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