In General Knowledge for the Family, Parenting, Physical & Mental Health

What Would Children Learn From Having Pets?

There are many benefits of owning a pet, and when the owner is a child, the benefits may even be greater. Growing up with pets can be one of the great joys that a child has and it can do a world of good. Here are some of the reasons why pets and children make a great mix.

Responsibility

One of the main benefits of having a pet is the fact that it teaches responsibility. This is true of any type of pet, whether it is a dog or a cat or a smaller critter. The child will need to learn when the pet needs caring and will get used to a routine in giving this care. They will quickly learn that if they do not feed their animal, it will become upset and will try to get attention so that it can eat.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility for a child. They will learn that if you do not take a dog out for a walk, it will leave a mess to be picked up. Taking care of puppies can be challenging but very rewarding. The dog will grow along with the child, becoming a lifelong friend. Kids and pets often have a bond that cannot be broken. This is one of the benefits of having a dog or a cat.

With cats, the child will get used to a schedule that the cat likes to eat. If the food is not given on time, the cat will let the child know it is hungry. If a litter box is not cleaned out, you will have a bad smell in the home and your cat may start going to the bathroom in strange places instead. Each action has a reaction and the child will learn this fairly quickly when taking care of pet animals.

In order to avoid having to do a larger clean-up task or having to deal with an upset animal, the child will start to take responsibility in making sure that the pet’s needs have been met. They will learn that the pet will be calm and more fun if it is given the basic needs on time.

The child will get used to having a set schedule so that the pet will remain happy and healthy. This type of structure can be beneficial for a child. Responsibility will be taught and the child will receive a sense of satisfaction knowing that they had handled the pets needs properly.

Empathy

A child will be able to experience the feeling of empathy when taking care of a pet. If the pet seems upset about not having a walk or having attention, the child will be able to see the reaction the pet gives. This is more true in larger pets than in small pets for kids.

If for any reason the pet is ill or hurt, the child will be able to see this and it can set off a whole range of emotions in the child. It can help the child have feeling for something. The child may try to console a hurt or sick pet.

After awhile, the child will want to give the pet food on a schedule so that the pet will not need to suffer while waiting to eat. The child will become empathetic to the feelings that the pet has in addition to their own feelings.

Security

Having a pet can give a child a secure feeling. Dogs especially can help look after a child, and the child may come to rely on having this dog available to help keep them safe. They will get used to having the pet around at all times and may feel uneasy if the pet is not to be found. They may want the pet to sleep in their room with them at night and they will have a sense of security in knowing that their friend is nearby.

Children who have parents that are not able to be around all the time have the benefit of having the pet to fill in a bit of that time. Separation anxiety may be lessened in children that have a pet there to help. Having a pet is better than having nothing to turn to when the child has no one to talk with. A child with a pet will feel much less lonely than a child without one. If the family is not able to be attentive at all times, the pet will be there for the child.

Calmness

Taking care of a pet can give an overwhelming feeling of calmness. When you look at a pet, it does not seem rushed or distracted from everyday stresses in life. A pet goes with the flow and is usually calm. It looks to its owner for help in the things that it needs daily, and if these things are met, the reward is a pet that will want to snuggle with the owner or follow the owner around.

Pets can give a lot of calmness just from taking the time to pet them. They will sigh and lie there enjoying the feel of their owner’s hand upon them, and this feeling can spill over to the one that is doing the petting. Petting an animal is extremely soothing. Watching the reaction of the animal can give the person petting it a real sense of relaxation.

Having pets can reduce anxiety in a child just from having it in the same room. They can help ease a child into being able to talk to others. A child grows to love their pet and they will be happy to talk to people about the pet, since they feel proud of the pet in general. This can help a child open up to social situations if they are usually an introvert.

Happiness

There is nothing more positive than seeing a child enjoying time with their pet. Dogs and cats can give a lot of fun times to a child. Even smaller pets can give a child a feeling of happiness by watching them in their cage and watching the different antics that the pet may have. Some children enjoy pets in the classroom at school and will want this feeling to spill over to their home life. Another one of the benefits of pets can be playmates for the child, giving them a sense of joy to be able to spend time together.

People with pets will be less angry at things that happen in their own life. They will be able to spend time with their pet, making them happy. This can rub off on everyday feelings, making the person more enjoyable to be around. The risk of depression will lessen when there is an animal nearby that the child can spend time with. One of the benefits of owning a dog or cat is the constant companionship obtained.

Health Benefits

Having a pet can actually be beneficial to the child health-wise. Children that take care of a dog or cat are at less risk of having allergies. After a while the body becomes used to materials that can cause allergic reactions. Pet fur is something that some people are allergic to. Being around a pet can actually lessen the chance of an allergic reaction.

Children that have a pet are more apt to engage in exercise. A dog will need to be walked and a cat can be played with inside the home. The child will have a reason to get up and move. The child will be forced to get up to take care of a pet that needs to be walked or that needs to be fed. They will not be able to wait for some of these things, and this can get the child much needed exercise. A child with a pet is much more alert and attentive since the pet may need help with something at any given moment.

Imagination

Having a pet can stimulate a child’s imagination. They can make stories up about the pet or play games involving pretend play. The pet becomes a friend when the child is not able to be around a person. Many children will talk to their pet and involve them in their everyday activities. Being around the pet will stimulate their brain and can help them learn new things.

Self-Esteem

Having a pet can boost a person’s self-esteem. The pet owner has a purpose in life. They are needed to take care of the pet. This can give a large boost in the self-esteem of a child. Knowing that they are needed for something, that they have a purpose, can give the child a sense of pride. They will feel important knowing that they are relied on by the pet to give basic needs in life. They will feel important when spending time with a pet, as the pet will look to the child.

The self-confidence will increase in a child that takes care of a pet. Since they will get the feeling of accomplishment from taking care of a pet, they will feel worthy. This is a huge plus for children that have low self-esteem problems.

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