If you are a parent, the day will come when your kids will ask if they can have a pet.
Whether it’s a dog, cat, or other furry critter, there’s no doubt your kids will put on a full-court press to convince you to say yes.
While you might initially have some hesitation due to the responsibilities that go along with pet ownership, some additional research may quickly change your mind.
As scientists and other researchers explore pet ownership in regards to kids, they are finding a variety of fascinating reasons as to how kids can benefit from having a pet around the house.
If your kids are eager to add a furry four-legged friend to the family, here are nine reasons why you need to consider getting your kids a pet.
1. Healthy Children
As most parents know, kids are always susceptible to coming down with a sore throat, stuffy nose, or other ailment.
But for kids who have had a dog in their house since they were very young, there’s a good chance their immune systems will be much stronger than the average child.
Based on numerous research studies, kids in these situations had 31 percent fewer respiratory infections, as well as 44 percent fewer ear infections.
2. Increased Self-Esteem
When kids own pets, they tend to grow up to have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when kids have pets who give them unconditional love, they feel more secure about themselves, leading to increased self-esteem.
3. Strong Friendships
Since dogs are a man’s best friend, it’s only natural that research shows they play a role in helping kids develop strong and lasting friendships.
Because kids are always outside playing with and walking their dogs, they encounter other kids doing the same thing. And since pets are a natural conversation starter, before your kids realize it, they’ve made some new friends.
4. Responsibility and Organization
By owning pets and having to feed, groom, clean up after, and play with them each day, kids quickly learn the importance of responsibility.
They also realize they need to be very organized each day, both with their pets and with other aspects of their lives such as schoolwork.
5. Curious Kids are Smart Kids
When your child has a pet, they become very eager to learn all they can about their new furry friend. They’ll start spending time researching their pet by reading books, searching online, viewing YouTube videos, and more.
As a result, a University of Bristol study concluded cat owners grow up to possess more college degrees than non-cat owners. So if you’ve got a curious kid, you’ll likely also have a smart kid.
6. Great Readers
If your child is lagging behind in their reading skills, getting them a pet can change that in a hurry.
According to researchers, when kids have a dog or cat who sits patiently, listens to their every word, and passes no criticism if they make a mistake now and then, the child relaxes and begins to enjoy reading. By doing so, they start reading more and more, improving their literacy skills.
7. The Importance of Empathy
When caring for a pet, children can easily see how their words or actions can affect their pet’s feelings. By paying attention to this, kids begin to learn the importance of empathy.
By treating their pets with kindness and respect early on, kids learn how to do the same with family, friends, and even strangers.
8. Physically-fit Kids
Whether they are chasing their dog around the backyard or running through the house with their kitty, kids who own pets have been found to be much more physically-fit and active. From jumping and climbing to running nonstop, chances are your kids and their pets will spend hours together doing all this and more.
9. Creating Future Entrepreneurs
Finally, the dog or cat who joins your household may in fact help your child become the next great entrepreneur.
While caring for their pets, kids start to see the possibilities that exist to make extra money. As a result, they may start a dog-walking business, pet sit for friends and neighbors, or even try their hand at building dog houses or shelters for feral cats.
Once this happens, it’s only a matter of time before they test the waters with other business ideas, and thus an entrepreneur is born.
Hopefully these reasons help to allay your fears of bringing a pet into your home. A pet will bring joy and happiness to your child, but will do so much more to enhance his or her life both now and into the future. To see the original article and infographic, visit Catological.
By Emily Parker, Catological.com