Kids love pets, and for good reason. Much like little children, pets don’t need words to convey their emotions and just how unconditionally they love their humans. Research has proven over the years that animals don’t just make cute, furry pets your kids can play with, but also help them tremendously in various ways. If we talk about kids with certain disabilities, for instance, or those who have suffered any form of physical or emotional violence, they feel a tremendous amount of love and care with pets around. Here are some valid reasons why pets are good for your kids:
Pets Help Kids Learn
Kids can often be found sitting next to their beloved pets, with an open book in front of them. They read to their pets, show them the colorful pictures inside, and convey a wide range of emotions all while reading to them. While this could seem like a small thing, it’s not, since pets actually help kids learn. Researchers have stated how developmentally-challenged kids can benefit from therapy animals, especially visible in the instances when they’re brought to school. A study once had kids read to their peers, an adult, and a dog, and the result of that study reflected that the kids were most comfortable reading around the animal.
Pets Promote Good Health
Having pets around actually keeps kids physically healthier. As per a study conducted by Dennis Ownby, who is the head of the allergy and immunology department of the Medical College of Georgia and is also a pediatrician, when kids are exposed to multiple pets, it reduces their chances of developing certain types of allergies. In this study, 474 kids were tracked from birth to the age of 7. The study found that the kids who had about two or more cats or dogs around them were less likely to develop allergies common among kids, especially those with no pets around.
Studies have also suggested that kids who are exposed to pets at an early age have a lower chance of developing asthma. This could be because when a child plays with a pet, such as a cat or a dog, they are usually licked by their pets. As a result of this licking, the bacteria in the animal’s mouth is transferred, and being exposed to the bacteria alters the response of the child’s immune system to different allergens.
Pets Nurture and Provide Comfort
Pets help kids a great deal by providing them comfort when they need it the most. Kids don’t always find it comforting or easy to talk to other kids their age or even their parents. In such cases, kids turn to their pets and share whatever is on their minds. This helps them feel lighter and eases their mental burden a lot. Pets also aid the kids by helping them recover better, lowering their blood pressure, and reducing their anxiety and stress. Autistic kids or kids who suffer from PTSD are highly comforted with pets around.
Pets also encourage positive qualities such as empathy. Taking care of a pet requires a kid to be mindful of the pets’ needs and requirements, which instills empathy in them, as a result of which kids who grow up with pets usually end up becoming empathetic adults. It also promotes the quality of nurturing, which enables them to be loving and affectionate toward others as well.
Pets Aid in Socializing and Make Kids More Confidence
There are some kids you will notice talking away to glory with their pets, even though they’re just learning how to talk. By providing this level of emotional and social support, pets not only help kids in socializing better, but also improve their language and verbal skills. The presence of a pet provides the positive verbal stimulus a kid needs to help learn how to talk to others and socialize.
Pets also boost a child’s confidence and increase their sense of responsibility. When a child is given the responsibility to take care of a pet, it automatically causes them to be more alert, thereby enabling them to take on equally important tasks in the future, which also increases their confidence in themselves. Pets also help in bringing families together. There are several activities a family can perform with their pets, which allows the kids to get closer to the other members of their family.
The Best Pets for Kids
While there are many different types of animals that make good pets for several reasons, there are some that are particularly good for kids. Some of them are as follows:
· Dogs: Dogs are lovable, affectionate, energetic, and highly observant. All of these qualities make them great pets to have around your kids. They can be trained, which allows you to take them along with you, as a result of which your child always has a companion around.
· Cats: Cats are highly intelligent animals who love to play and also like their space to be respected. They are big enough to not be injured by kids who are accident-prone, and also live long enough lives for your kids to have a loving, furry companion around.
· Hamsters: Hamsters are little creatures who don’t require as much maintenance as that of cats and dogs, thereby making them easy pets to have around. When you have a hamster to accompany your child, you won’t have to worry about cleaning their fur off the furniture, which makes it one less thing you need to tick off your list.
· Guinea Pigs: Guinea pigs take up very less space and are extremely respectful of their owners. They can be tamed pretty easily and aren’t as skittish as compared to some of the other animals.
Rabbits: Rabbits make great pets, especially for younger kids. They are extremely gentle and love socializing. Rabbits live up to 12 years, are easy to be trained, and don’t require much maintenance. Make sure that you get the rabbit spayed or neutered so as to prevent them from getting aggressive, especially if you’re planning to have more than one rabbit in the house.