We have all been there! Our kids want a pet and we don’t want the extra mess! But consider these reasons why having a pet is good for kids before you say no! There are some great benefits of having a pet!
The Benefits of Having a Pet
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Most kids love the idea of getting a pet! They would have a house full of them if they had their way! But as a parent, that decision is left up to you! Whether you love animals or not, it is understandable to have reservations. After all, a pet, regardless of the species, is a lot of hard work! And the last thing that you want is for all of this work to be left to you. However, instead of looking solely at the possible negatives, let’s look at why having a pet is good! There are benefits of having a pet for your kids, and here are six reasons why!
Why Having a Pet is Good For Your Kids
It Boosts Their Immune System
According to many studies, children that grow up around pets get sick a lot less often than those that don’t. This is because regular contact with pets helps boost your child’s immune system. This then leads to better resistance to certain illnesses and infections. Kids with pets also tend to form healthy habits. These include regular exercise and eating nutritious foods, both of which help to boost the immune system. Studies show that children with pets are less likely to develop asthma as well.
It Teaches Them About Responsibility
Having a pet is good for kids because it teaches them to take care of something. This, in turn, teaches your child a lot about responsibility, especially if their animal is a little out of the ordinary. For example, if you were to get a bird, instead of a cat or dog, then they’d need to do a little more research, check out a cockatoo guide, and find out exactly what they need to do to be responsible owners. However, even with more common pets, you still need to do some homework and ensure that their new pet has food water, gets exercise and is clean when it needs to be.
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If you have more than one child, having a pet is good for kids because it teaches them to divide responsibilities. This means that they’ll have to learn to share, regardless of whether it’s cleaning or the cuddles. This can cause some issues at first, but eventually, it will boost the love between your kids. It will strengthen the bond between the kids. This is especially true if you adopt an animal that is particularly playful, like a dog. Your kids will play together more often as they play with their new furry friend!
It Provides Comfort And Companionship
Being a kid can be lonely at times, but with a pet, you’re never truly alone. This is just another reason why having a pet is good for kids! Animals, regardless of the species, can be great companions for your children. They offer someone for them to play with and talk to. It would be nice if our kids told us everything, especially when it’s the things that make them upset, but it’s unlikely that they will share everything with you. Because of this, it’s comforting to know that your children have someone that they feel they can confide in and let everything out, even if that someone does have fur.
It Reduces Their Stress
Everyone likes to think that their kids are completely happy and totally carefree, but the truth is that they deal with stress just like we do. Granted, their problems may be a little different to ours, but they cause just as much distress. They are just as overwhelming too. Thankfully, pets are brilliant tools when it comes to managing stress. Of course, they’re lovely to cuddle, which will naturally boost your kid’s mood, but they also offer the chance for your children to talk. Letting their problems out, even to a pet, can help put things in perspective and reduce stress.
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Having a Pet is Good Because it Teaches Them to Exercise
Exercise is incredibly important for physical and mental health, but with all the electronic distractions out there, getting your child off the couch is often easier said than done. However, having a pet pushes your children to exercise! It does this because it’s their responsibility to ensure that the pet is active too! More often than not, your kids will exercise without even realizing that they’re doing it, by simply playing around the house. Once they’ve got into these healthy habits, they’ll remember them as they grow and should keep them up.
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Where Can You Find a Family Pet?
Adopt a pet! Stop by your local animal shelter to adopt a pet. Your local animal shelter will have cats and dogs. Do you want to adopt a more exotic pet? Your local animal shelter may know of rescues that might have birds, horses and even reptiles. Adopting a pet who needs a home will not only benefit your children but will also provide a home for an animal that doesn’t have one.
Having a pet is good for kids, so before you dismiss the idea, consider these great benefits!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!