This is a sponsored guest post.
While pets can develop a strong connection with every member of the family, the bond that can exist between a child and a pet can help define him or her as a person. From promoting positive impacts on social skills and confidence to increasing physical activity, there are many ways in which young kids can benefit from growing up with pets.
1. It teaches responsibility
Just as kids are the parent’s responsibility, pets can provide a very unique opportunity of teaching young children an important life lesson. While you can teach a kid responsibility by having him or her do the dishes or other chores, nothing really compares to taking care of another living being.
Tasks such as walking, feeding, bathing and picking up after the pet are all activities that can be accomplished by children of all ages with the help of an adult. Looking after a pet also requires a lot of patience and work and these are virtues that kids can really benefit from.
2. It develops emotional intelligence
Having your kids care for a pet can help improve their emotional intelligence over time since caring for any other being helps the child become more compassionate. All the activities that teach responsibility such as feeding or walking require kids to step outside of themselves and be more selfless.
A pet can also become your child’s constant friend that is always there to help him or her cope with everything that may be going on in life, through both highs and lows. Pets can reduce stress and they provide the emotional support and secure attachment that young children need.
3. Kids grow up healthier
Studies have shown that children who have early contact with pets early in life, especially cats and dogs, are much healthier and have a better immune system than those who did not. This occurs because it is believed that exposure to dogs and cats can boost the maturation of the immune system for infants.
What’s more, having contact with pets can also help prevent allergies and asthma. Scientists have found that children who grow up with dogs are up to 50% less likely to develop asthma and allergies compared to those who grew up without a dog. This is also attributed to the better immune system kids who grow up with pets have.
4. It leads to more play and exercise
In this day and age it can be quite difficult to get some kids out of the house but having a pet can help overcome this. Children who have pets get more exercise especially in the case of dogs. You can set up a nice playpen for them to play safely or you can let them play with balls and ropes in the backyard.
All of these activities can help your child be healthier since studies have shown that children who own a dog tend to exercise on average up to 11 minutes more per day. It may not seem a lot, but in a month these minutes add up to more than 5 hours.
5. It helps improve self-esteem and social skills
Kids with pets tend to have more confidence in their own abilities and self-worth which translates to less loneliness and better social skills and this helps them make new friends easier. If you have a child that finds it difficult to be social and form new friendships, simply owning a pet can really help improve your kid’s social skills.
Pets can help make children friendlier as well since simply walking with a dog can make other children more likely to approach your kid. A pet will also teach patience and generosity toward others.