There are many benefits of growing up with pets. There have been numerous scientific studies that show that having a pet during childhood will make you less prone to allergies, you’ll have lower blood pressure, and you’ll be more likely to be physically active.
Along with these physical advantages, children that grow with pets have several mental health benefits as well. This includes less anxiety or depression, improved learning ability, and social-emotional effects.
So, if your kids show a tendency to pick and prefer very high-intensity activities, consider adopting a dog, a cat, or another pet that will be able to go well with their energy. You might still wonder, what is my child to learn from owning a domesticated animal? Let’s discover!
What are the merits of owning a pet in childhood?
There are at least 4 things that can be attained through pet ownership:
Owning a pet can be a significant milestone at a young age. Not all kids have this opportunity, and at a certain age, they can become fully responsible for their pets. This would include respecting the daily routine of the pet, be it a dog, cat, lizard, bird, or fish. Feeding, cleaning the litter box, walking the dog, grooming, taking the pet to the vet, etc. These are all examples of behavior that develops a sense of responsibility and care.
Besides changing their daily routine and acting in a role of a pet owner, this position also enables a more refined emotional development. It can help the kid shift the focus from their own self to the pet, and to think about this relationship. It can help the child understand the parenting role as well. It can prepare the child for future friendships and emotional attachment. It can nourish emotional skills such as selflessness and empathy.
Kids who love being active are truly best around equally active and kid-friendly dogs. However, there are certain breeds that are more likely to be great around kids than others. You should always check by yourself, as every pet is a different individual. As with kids, some would love to spend all day at the dog park, in the very same manner as many kids adore trampoline parks like Uptown Jungle fun park in North Phoenix.
To find the best match, sometimes you need to look in peculiar places. Sometimes, you’ll need to be surprised by the fact that not all active kids prefer puppies. Certain cat breeds would be more suitable for a highly active child, to balance out that energy.
There are other domestic animals that are great for interaction, such as horses, pigmy goats, and ponies. There have been examples of children making their first steps alongside these animals. Hence, there’s a huge popularity of petting zoos and pet therapy centers.
Taking your pet for a walk isn’t just an opportunity for family bonding, or being a careful and responsible pet owner. It gives an opportunity for socialization. Although young kids are not allowed at dog parks and vice versa, there are certain contexts when this can function beautifully, under proper supervision.
Apart from making new friends and social connections, such interactions can serve as a useful exercise for the development of tact, calmness, focus, assertiveness, and a way to overcome social anxiety. Lastly, owning multiple pets with different personalities will also help your child recognize nuance and develop adaptability.
Owning a pet leaves room for otherness in our life that doesn’t only belong to our family relationships. It helps us grow into emotionally competent, stable, and empathetic human beings. It gives us a sense of humility, gratitude, and renews the sense of the inner child throughout our lives. When you take care to teach your children to respect and treat animals with kindness, you did them a favor.