Kids tend to think of all the good, fun benefits of having a pet. Parents who are experienced, or even first-time pet owners, know there is a lot of patience, time and effort involved but that the payoff of sharing your home and life is the unconditional love a well-cared-for pet gives. It's well worth it.
For those parents sitting on the edge, here are several positive reasons you might not have thought of to bring a pet home for your kids:
Get everything you need to keep your pets happy and healthy
- Children who grow up in homes with pets have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.
- Playing with dogs may help lower blood pressure.
- Kids with pets get outside more—to go for walks, run and play—and enjoy all the associated health benefits.
- Pet owners require fewer doctor's visits.
- Emerging readers often feel more comfortable reading aloud to a pet.
- Nurturing a pet is an acceptable way for boys to "parent play"—to practice being caregivers.
- Feeding and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility.
- Children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem.
- Sharing the love and care of a family pet forges an additional common bond among siblings.
- Cuddling a pet reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety.