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Why Pets are Good for your Kids

A quick look through a children’s store will show just how much children love animals. Gracing everything from books and TVs to soft toys and games, animals feature heavily in young children’s lives. Perhaps this is why so many kids are eager for a pet - whether it be a dog, horse or a cool reptile. There are plenty of reasons why this is actually a great idea. As well as providing entertainment for your little one, studies show that growing up with a pet keeps your child healthy, and greatly aids your child’s emotional and cognitive development.

Responsibility & Nurturing 

Having a pet immediately teaches your child the importance of responsibility. Even if you do the vast majority of the work, your child will watch as you clean, feed and look after your pet, teaching them valuable lessons in the process. They will inevitably help out at some point, whether it’s filling up their water bowl or walking the dog, gently showing them how to look after something else. 

Cognitive Development 

Having a pet encourages play, and children will read and interact with them, helping their verbal and cognitive skills. Animals are often used in therapy for kids who struggle to learn, which shows just how valuable they can be for your own children. Many children can read their favourite stories to their dogs, rabbits or cats without feeling shy or inhibited, allowing them the freedom to enjoy learning. 

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Companionship 

Having a non-judgemental, loving companion reduces stress and anxiety in children, giving them a meaningful relationship that differs in dynamic from that with siblings and parents. It helps children who are socially withdrawn, encouraging them to engage with those around them as they have a ‘safe’ companion they can go to if they feel anxious or stressed. Conversely, a pet that often becomes stressed or anxious due to stimuli such as fireworks or stangers, can provide the tools children need in order to nurture their emotional development. 

Emotional Development 

Having a pet that is completely dependent or often anxious teaches children empathy, kindness and compassion. They learn how to understand and respond to the needs of another, increasing their emotional intelligence and how they relate to others. 

Health 

A pet such as a dog or horse encourages outdoor play and will provide plenty of exercise opportunities. Studies have also shown how having pets from a young age can reduce the risk of developing allergies and asthma. Not only this, but by being exposed to more bacteria from your pet, young children develop healthy and robust immune systems.

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