Get your kids a pet if you want them to grow well

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
― Anatole France

As a child I was always terrified of dogs. I would never go anywhere close to a four legged fury animal, leave alone petting it. My fear continued and grew with every passing year until my cousins decided to get a dog (a fawn Labrador). I remember the first few visits after they got him home were frightful for me, although he was just a little puppy. Soon enough, I began enjoying petting him and when I spent one whole holiday in their place I became his favourite aunt and he my favourite nephew! I would walk him more than thrice a day which he absolutely loved, would feed him off of my plate and would play with him. I also let him sleep beside me on the bed. Towards the end of my vacation I was upset that I would not see him too often and once I returned home I  remember calling my cousin to tell her how much I missed her dog and not her! There are a lot of things you learn from animals in general, dogs in particular love unconditionally and forgive easily.

It isn’t a bad idea to have pets alongside children. Studies have shown that children who grow up with pets are likely to have better social skills, responsibilities and judgement. They also tend to become more caring and learn how to bond. Pets can be loving companions to children who don’t have siblings and eventually they become your family.

Here are some benefits of having a pet for your child:

Engage your kids to do physical activity by having pets - ZenParent

Physical activity and responsibility: These days most children are either glued to smart phones or video games. Having a pet will keep them on their toes and would make them run around and about the house which would give them a break from the sedentary lifestyle. Having a pet will invoke a sense of responsibility in them at an early age. My friend’s son who is about 5 years old likes to hurry home after his day at the park to feed his fish, and he loves watching them!

Pets can be therapeutic: Dogs in particular have helped children with mental health issues such as autism and other behavioural issues.

Take a look at this heart-warming Dog Video of an autistic child and his service dog

Building emotional values: You know this better if you ever had a pet whose loss made you mourn for days and weeks. Human beings in general get attached to animals quickly and so do little children. If your child has grown up with a pet at home he/she will more likely develop emotions of love, compassion, sharing, and nurturing not just toward the pet but also toward people.

Benefits of having pet for your child at home - ZenParent

That said if you think you would have to prioritise between your child and the pet or you would not be able to take care of your pet or leave them unattended for hours at home you might as well not have one. Please remember your child might be able to express him/herself in words while the pet may not be able to. So save them the horror because animals need the same amount of time, love and care that you spend with your little one.

I grew up without a pet and I turned out just fine.

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