We can all agree that pets are good for the soul. They comfort us, make us laugh, are ALWAYS happy to see us and love us unconditionally. As it turns out, they're pretty good for children too.
Pets provide a great stimulus to encourage children to run, throw balls, play and get outdoors! All too often these days, children lead a sedentary life and spend too much time indoors. With a dog to walk or a game of fetch to play, children spend more time outside with their four legged friend and less in front of the TV! Smaller children can develop fine motor skills by helping scoop a pet's food, throw toys and help with grooming.
Studies suggest that children believe pets to be better confidantes than humans and take comfort in having a four-legged friend to talk to. If there is more than one child in the home, pets can contribute to a strong bond between siblings as they have a shared interest and love for the animal.
Pets can be a great conversation starters for both adults and children. A child is more likely to approach and interact with another child if they are playing with a pet as the animal becomes a shared interest and topic of conversation.
Everyone knows that caring for an animal has a certain level of responsibility. Most parents have heard the assurances of "I'll walk it EVERY day, I promise!!" or "I'll feed it myself. You won't have to do anything! I swear!!". Adding a new furry family member and making children stick to their promises teaches a very valuable life lesson - we have certain responsibilities which we must take care of, no matter what else is going on in our lives.
Caring for a pet teaches children to respect all animals and treat them with kindness and compassion. It is important to teaching them to:
If you're worried about the limits having a pet could place on your family in terms of going on holiday or long family days out, don't worry - we've got you covered. You can Book a Mad Paws Sitter to take care of your new family member whilst you're away!
Mad Paws Pty Ltd