Pets for Children


Living in a city in a small flat meant no place for pets. My son loved animals and was constantly pleading for a pet. Being a working mother I depended on my own mother to take care of my kids, this meant we just could not take the responsibility of a pet. One day a stray dog gave birth to eight pups in the building garden under a bush.

The minute the children learned about this there was a flurry of activity—one child bought an old bed sheet, another a bowl of water, and yet others biscuits and other food.

My son was delighted he would go down three to four times every day and tend to the mother dog and litter. He got ready every day without a fuss and even homework ceased to be a chore. The child transformed into a responsible young one and soon the pups followed him around all the time.

Pets for children are a wonderful thing and teach children responsibilities and love. Caring for another living creature helps children make friends and be responsible beings. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry also vouches for the benefits of having a pet—children learn about trust.

Having a pet makes a child positive and increases self-esteem and confidence, enhance compassion and empathy. Pets for children ensure that a child leads a more active and healthy life.

Pets for children – pros and cons

Choose with care

Before bringing a pet home think about aspects like space, costs, health needs, and time required. Speak to other pet owners and find out the pros and cons of owning a pet. Take the child to pet stores as well as dog adoption agencies and introduce the child to various pets.

Think about whether a dog, cat, bird, or fish in an aquarium will be best. Try not to choose a pet that is high maintenance. Find out what your child likes before selecting a pet.

It’s a joint responsibility

Remember if the child is younger than around ten years old he or she will need help in caring for a pet. A child does not know that it should not squeeze a pet hard or that pets are not to be overfed. Let the child help with bathing the pet if it’s a dog or cat, brushing the pet, feeding and exercise.

When a child lives with a pet, the child has a friend to share its thoughts and feelings with. My cousin had a child who was afraid of the dark. But when he got a small dog the child’s fears all went away. The dog gave the child courage and companionship.

In fact many pets give so much that one cannot count the blessings—there are stories of dogs protecting kids from drowning as well as other dangers.

Conclusion: Pets for Children

Child-development experts recommend pets for children as they reap many benefits. Pets at home help kids make friends, promote communications, teach kids about living creatures, and helps them learn about joys and sorrows in life. Kids feel safe with a pet and can be left alone at home with confidence for small periods of time.

Pets help instill discipline in children and teach affection, sharing, and trust. In fact pets help kids lead a healthy lifestyle and cut short hours spent watching television or playing computer games. Pets have been proven very beneficial for differently-abled children too.

About the Author

Ahendita is an experienced writer and editor with over 30 years work experience. She has authored books, magazine articles, web content, e-books, and promotional materials.

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