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10 Reasons Why Pets Are Great for Kids: Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kerry-Ann Kerr

Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever with a kid

10 Reasons Why Pets Are Great for Kids: Facts & FAQ

Animals entertaining us with their strange behavior can positively impact our emotional health. You may have a child who has asked you repeatedly about getting a pet, and you haven’t made a final decision. If you have the resources to care for a pet and no one is allergic, they can be an excellent addition to the family, and we’ll examine why below.

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The 10 Reasons Why Pets Are Great for Kids

1. Teaches Responsibility

Tasks like cleaning out the fish tank or taking the dog for a walk teach children to be responsible and give them a sense of achievement. It teaches them dependability. If you need to take the dog for a walk after being out of the house all day, you’re teaching your child the importance of thinking and empathizing with another living creature that is also dependent on them. Pets will also offer a sense of empowerment. Children move through the world having decisions made for them, but keeping a pet can make them feel more grown up.

2. Provides Companionship & Comfort

Children can find security and support from their pets, which generally means they often feel less anxious or withdrawn. Pets can also help with confidence and learning. A child who is reluctant to read aloud in school might feel more comfortable reading to their pet, as they see them as a nonjudgmental audience they can practice on.

kid and german shepherd dog puppy
Image By: Stone36, Shutterstock

3. Encourages Activity

Pets encourage owners to take them for walks or play with them, so owning a pet gets your child outside and moving. This will benefit their overall health.

4. Reduces Allergies

A study1 in 2017 found that babies with pets in the home are less likely to develop allergies because they are exposed to allergens such as pet dander and dirt that their pets have brought into the house.

5. Strengthens Bond With Family

Pets are instrumental in bringing people together. You can participate in activities with your child and their pet, like walking the dog or feeding them. They’re simple tasks but can be enjoyable, especially when done together.

Kids Playing with White Cat
Image Credit: cottonbro studio, Pexels

6. Lowers Blood Pressure

Stroking an animal has been known to lower blood pressure, which, in turn, decreases anxiety levels. This doesn’t just extend to pets that children can cuddle; talking to a bird or a fish can also benefit a child’s temperament.

7. Teaches About Loss or Grief

Pets are often seen as family members; they teach children how to deal with grief when they die. Loss is complex to navigate, and sometimes, a pet dying will be the first time a child experiences the death of a loved one. Children learn coping skills and the importance of a support system as you help them process this loss.

8. Pets Can Change Behavior

Pets have needs and personalities that are their own. They make mistakes, get scared, and have strengths and weaknesses. They also need to communicate their wants and needs, and your child will need to learn the pet’s routine and anticipate their needs. They will learn to be tolerant of differences and accept new responsibilities.

kids feeding a dog by hand on the patio
Image By: cottonbro studio, Pexels

9. Teach Social Skills

Pets provide lessons in boundaries, respect, connection, and empathy. Pets need attention and care, and a child must be empathetic and compassionate to form a strong bond with their pet.

10. They’re Fun!

Whichever pet you have, the truth is that having a pet is fun. Each has a unique personality that you and your child will enjoy getting to know.

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There are many reasons a pet makes the perfect addition to a family. When making this decision, you must also consider which animal is suitable for your family. Research is your best friend, as is discussing it with your family. Pets take up a lot of space and demand attention, so the whole family needs to be on board. Whichever pet you select, we’re sure it’ll be no time before they’re fast friends with everyone, not just your kid!

Featured Image Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay

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