Top 4 Reasons Pets Are Great for Kids

Anyone who has grown up with cats, dogs, and other assorted creatures, knows the joy that comes from loving a fur or feathered friend during their formative years. But for those who have never owned a pet, it can be a hard sell when your child starts asking for a cute little puppy, kitten, or even pony to call their own. So are pets really such a good idea for kids or should you buy them a new games console instead?

Responsible Pet Owners

Pet ownership is a great way to teach kids a sense of responsibility. Even small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs need feeding, watering and cleaning out regularly, so allotting these tasks to your child (under supervision of course) is a useful way of talking them to shoulder some responsibility.

In general, the older the child, the more they can be asked to do. So for example, a teenager is more than capable of walking a dog or taking care of a pony. Therefore he or she can be tasked with feeding the cats or dogs, or heading with you to the feed barn for more horse supplies, and buying equipment. So remind them of the responsibilities that come with pet ownership when they ask if they can have a puppy or a pony.

A Kid’s Best Friend

Pets provide an enormous amount of comfort when a child is feeling sad or needs a friend. Animals love us unconditionally. They are always happy to see us and give us a cuddle when we are feeling a bit down, and it’s no different for a child. Having a feline or canine friend is a great confidence giver, especially for a shy, awkward child. If your child walks the dog, he or she will find that their furry friend is a great ice-breaker since people invariably want to say “hello” when you have a cute dog with you.

Great Exercise

So many children spend their leisure time slouched in front of a games console or computer these days that anything we as parents can do to encourage them to take more exercise is a good thing. Having an active dog in the house is a great incentive to play outdoors because dogs love to jump around and go for long walks. If your teenager is allergic to exercise, they might be more inclined to go out if they have a dog to keep them company.

Help with Learning

Whilst some children love to sit and read a book, many more really can’t be bothered and trying to persuade them to read their school books can be a huge chore. Interestingly, research has indicated that the presence of a pet can be very beneficial to children for it reduces stress levels and helps them to concentrate. Younger children especially will be more inclined to curl up with a school book if their furry friend keeps them company.

It may sound like a cliché, but pets really are for life, so never buy a pet on a whim. Pet ownership is time consuming and expensive, so make sure you have plenty of both before you introduce a new friend to your family.