10 Reasons To Buy Your Child A Pet
Should you buy your child a pet? It’s a question that many parents ask themselves, but it’s hard to know the answer. Every family is different, and pets have their own wants and needs to take into account. However, there are a multitude of benefits to be had by introducing your child or children to a furry new friend. Take a look at Petplan’s list below and see if any of these help you decide whether a pet is a good addition to your family.
1. Teach responsibility
Caring for a pet can teach children a greater sense of responsibility. Having to be conscious of the needs of others, as well as themselves (whether that’s feeding, walking, or even just playing) can prepare children for later life by introducing them to some basic responsibilities.
Children need friends, and having a pet for a companion is a great way for children to bond with another living thing.
As well as providing your child with a new friend to play with, the social aspect of this relationship can also help your child to become more comfortable around others in society. By developing the skills to be able to form relationships with a pet, they may find it much easier to bond with their peers.
“I’m bored” - the two words every parent dreads hearing. While animals are not playthings, having a friend in the house for them to play with can greatly reduce the frequency with which these words are heard. From maintaining the pet’s environment, to playing in the garden, having a pet can provide children with many activities to break-the-boredom.
5. Physical health
Having a pet to play with is not just an activity for your child, it’s also a physical activity. Playing in the garden or going for walks is a great way to keep your child active and it’s essential for the wellbeing of your pet. By encouraging fun physical activity in your child, it’s one less thing you need to worry about. Growing up around animals has also been found to boost your child’s allergy defences and their immune system.
6. Mental health
Physical activity isn’t the only health benefit that comes with pet ownership. Having a loyal pet to hold, stroke, and/or cuddle is a great way for children to deal with stress. Some children also find that pets can be a non-judgemental listener, allowing them to talk about certain things they believe that others might not understand.
It’s not just listening either, pets can help children with their overall communication skills. Pets can’t talk back or properly grasp a language and so this encourages children to be patient when conversing and teach them to communicate clearly with those around them.
By introducing a pet into your home, your child is much more likely to pick up empathetic skills. Caring for something other than themselves, that can’t take care of itself, is a fantastic way to instil this virtue into your little one.
There’s a reason that the internet is 90% animal videos: animals are entertaining. Many people, young and old, find joy in watching their pets playing and it’s likely that your child will be no different. However, this isn’t to say that pets ARE entertainment, but they will almost certainly bring some added laughter and joy into your home as a bonus.
10. Physical help
For those less able or even for those young children still learning their motor skills, pets can be a great companion and helper. Whether it’s picking something up or guiding you through the home, there are a multitude of ways that pets can help with day to day tasks.
As you can see, there are a whole host of reasons why owning a pet can be a great addition to the family, but before you do there are a few things to consider. You need to ensure that you will be able to take on the responsibility of caring for the pet and giving it the love and attention it needs.
It's also important that you consider all the options, whether you look to rescue homes or shelters. Different pets and breeds have different traits and needs and are prone to different health conditions so it’s important to do your research before deciding which one is right for you.
Is there a reason that you bought a pet for your child that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.