Does your child keep begging you for a pet? Maybe a puppy they can snuggle or a kitten they can play with? Well, before you say “no” consider these 10 reasons why pets are beneficial to families.
Learn Responsibility and Care
Taking care of a pet requires a lot of work. They need to be groomed, exercised, fed, given water and provided with a safe environment. Letting your kids help with pet chores will not only teach them responsibility but will also enlighten them on compassion.
Encourage an Active Lifestyle
Certain pets, like dogs, require exercise daily. After polishing off that second bag of potato chips on the couch, a walk might be exactly what you AND your dog need. Not to mention, the kiddos will take delight in watching their puppy fetch his favorite ball!
Unite the Family
Giving the dog a bath, brushing the cat, going on a horseback ride or creating a hamster fort are all activities that the family can do together. Not only will you get to know your kids better in the process but it will also strengthen the family bond.
“You can tell your pet anything and they listen, but do not try to solve your problems. Also, cats purring lowers blood pressure,” says Veterinary Technician Amy Bradley.
The Perfect Icebreaker
Sometimes approaching new people can be hard. Lucky for you, bringing your pet to community events will draw people toward you. Everyone will be dying to know what kind of dog you have and your children will enjoy showing off their puppy pal!
Your pet will never abandon you when you make a bad decision. They will also never judge you for eating a whole cheesecake in one sitting. In fact, they will just be happy to be in your presence. They will also give your kids someone to vent to when the going gets tough.
Your New Security System
Sometimes paranoia can get the best of us. You’ll take comfort in knowing that if someone should ever break into your house, your dog will let you (and everyone in the neighborhood) know. Dogs, specifically, are loyal animals. They will be ready to defend you and your family at a moment’s notice. The best part? Your new security guard won’t cost a ton of money. They’ll be happy with a treat and belly scratch as payment.
A Reading Partner
It is common for children to suffer from reading anxiety and be reluctant to read out loud at school. Having your kids read to your pets might just coax them out of their shell and help build confidence.
Learning to Cope
Pets help people, especially children, cope with death. This might sound a little strange, but if a child has experienced the loss of a pet, it will be easier for them to handle the passing of a family member or loved one.
Are you or your kids having a terrible day? Watching the cat attempt to catch that pesky laser light that keeps taunting him will undoubtedly make the whole family smile.
WORDS BY HANNAH PETERSON