It's a major decision for any family, but read the great benefits of adding a pet to your brood
Why having a pet is good for your child
At this time of year you will find your local shelters are full to the brim with dogs and cats. Pets are a huge commitment and when deciding whether to get one you should always do your research. Firstly consider the amount of time needed to house train a puppy or having to walk a dog each day. Cats are a little easier with house training but you still need to clean out a litter tray (which can be disgusting). You should also think about if you are away on Holidays who will care for your pet? And make sure you are financially able to pay for general pet immunisations/grooming and pet insurance (it certainly all adds up)!
However I think a pet and it can be a tremendous addition to any family, I have two cats and two dogs and while it can be an absolute mad house at times with kids too I wouldn’t be without my darling pets.
So here are a few reasons why having a pet is good for your child!
- Having a pet can boost a child’s self-esteem as they have a friend who they can talk to without judgement and a pet truly loves them back for just been them! I often hear my daughter chatting to her cat and it is so sweet to hear the cat purring back at her!
- A pet teaches a child responsibility and values, they can help with feeding your pet, brushing their fur and playing games. Children especially enjoy teaching puppies how to sit and fetch a ball. My girls taught our puppy to go down a slide, they had the garden like an obstacle course and ran around for hours with the puppy following their every move eager to please them!
- Petting a dog or stroking a cat lowers stress levels, so after a long day at school your child can come home to a pet that is delighted to see them and cuddle up on the couch with them.
- Children who have pets like dogs for example are more active as they walk their dogs or play outside with them regularly unless you have a very lazy King Charles dog (like ours) that sits in the buggy and lets my child walk (but hey he's getting a bit of fresh air regardless!) A cat loves nothing more than chasing a ball of wool around the house and your child will enjoy the game too!
- Pet owners tend to get sick less and are less likely to have allergies, though some kids are allergic to pet hair so you should certainly check that before adopting a pet.
- It can reduce loneliness and anxiety, having a furry friend just for your child means they always have a companion at home. My daughter suffered terrible night terrors and after nights of finding her screaming and jumping out of bed, I put our dog into her room to sleep with her. Whenever she started stirring he would get off her bed and tap the floor to wake me! After a few nights she felt so at ease with him on her bed snoozing, she stopped the bed dreams altogether. That is pure friendship!
- It is amazing how a child with a pet is kinder to animals in general therefore gentler to people too. They can be nurturing to their pet and learn about how love and respecting others. My cat brought home a dead mouse last summer and my youngest cried buckets so we had to have a funeral for “Milo the Mouse”!! It was a tough digging a grave in the garden especially when the cats kept trying to re dig up the mouse!
Written by Emma, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ