“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself,” said the American humourist Josh Billings. He could not have been more correct. A pet – whether it is a dog, a cat, a turtle, fish or even a horse for that matter, is a source of happiness and plays a big role in our lives. Children adore dogs and with good reason. They are friendly, cuddly and serve as a constant companion to your little ones.
But, do you know that pets also play a pivotal role in the physical and mental development of children, apart from providing a host of other benefits? We’ve listed a few benefits that might convince you to adopt a pet.
1. Pets provide constant companionship
Childhood is a time when children experience new things – new friends, new toys, new adventures, new challenges. As constant companions, pets provide great moral support during childhood. In fact, pets can be a great source of comfort for children when they are confused with the many things that life throws at them. Also, having the love of a pet can make a child feel important. The time children spend with pets like dogs help them develop positive self-image.
2. Children learn about responsibility
For parents who want to raise responsible children, getting a pet is a great way to start. Basic tasks like feeding the pet and ensuring its needs are met instil in children a sense of responsibility. In the process, your little one will also learn values like compassion and empathy, ensuring overall psychological development.
3. Pets can make your children healthy
Caring for a dog or cat can contribute to the overall health of your child. A simple chore like taking the dog for a walk in the park or playing a game of throw and fetch keeps your child active thereby burning calories and preventing obesity. Other benefits include:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Stronger muscles and bones, which is vital for growing children
- Decrease in stress levels of children
4. Happier children
One of the greatest benefits of having a pet is that they lead to happy children. Playing with a pet elevates the mood of children. They are a great stress reliever. Additionally, pets are non-judgemental – they are loyal and demonstrate love when their owner is sad.
5. Pets can teach children to care for others
Bringing a pet into the household can make your children learn to care for others because they start caring for the pet. By nurturing pets, children develop qualities like caring, loving and protecting that will help them later in life. Pets make children better humans.
Growing up with pets can be a truly enriching experience for children, one that will stay with them forever. As parents, we should remember that adding a pet to your family might just turn out to be the most precious gift that we give our children.
Note: Some children may be allergic to certain pets. Please check with the family doctor before you decide to bring one home.
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