Children undergo distinct and critical stages of development as they mature and grow from infancy to adolescence and adulthood. The primary role of parents is to guide their kids during these periods of life and ensure a proper upbringing. However, some kids behave differently and don’t grow independently as compared to other kids. Some children require more attention and guidance in every aspect, be it physically, mentally or socially. At times, they need more than their parents to teach them the valuable lessons of life. And this is where your pets came in.
Though you might consider having pets as a commitment because you have to provide all their needs and prevent them from skin allergies, dog ear infection and to name a few, there is a wide array of the positive impact that your pets can contribute to the growth and development of a child. Many studies and survey stressed the importance of pets at home. Let’s identify some of these effects in your child’s overall well-being.
Emotional and Mental Health
Introducing a pet at home has advantages to your child’s emotional maturity and mental health.
Pets possess a natural charm that resonates around your home. They bring more than happiness, laughter, and comfort in times of grief and pain. Some studies reported that letting your child interact with pets affect their mood and emotions as well. Caressing or petting an animal creates a mood-enhancing benefit to a child. This natural yet therapeutic effect enables your child to stay relaxed and comfortable in dealing with emotional pain and anxieties. As your child understands that she or he can find comfort and security with pets, emotional maturity develops down the road.
Enhancing Cognitive and Learning Abilities
Adopting an animal or pet at home can help the child’s learning skill and cognitive development. The presence of pets around your child can improve his or her cognitive ability. This is particularly feasible in the case of dogs or cats inside the house. A child is more relaxed and confident to read and communicate with pets than to other adults or kids. Kids become more engaged in reading stories, showing pictures or asking questions to their pets. Also, children with animals at home tend to appreciate science and learn more about animals.
Pets are, by nature, nonjudgmental creatures. They don’t care about the face value or behavior of their masters. With this, they are an excellent source of positivity and encouragement. When your kid suffers from low self-esteem, a pet can become a child’s additional support system to boost his or her confidence. Being with animals around will not only give them comfort but also make them feel appreciated.
Owning a pet at home can also influence the physical well-being of a child and foster independence.
Reducing Stress and Discomfort
There is a science related to the effects of pet ownership in reducing tension and discomfort to your child. Animals at home are considered stress soothers. They are incredibly helpful in diverting your child’s attention, especially in pain and stress. When your child caress or pet an animal, a particular hormone called endorphins are released. Also called “happy hormones,” it is responsible for reducing stress and anxiety levels in the body. This naturally-produced substance is also believed to lessen the risk of cardiovascular diseases by improving heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
Strengthening Immune Responses
Another amazing reason for having pets at home is directed toward improving your child’s immune response. Based on some studies about childhood illness, kids exposed to animals at the early stage of life, specifically in the first 6 months, have developed certain immunities which make them highly adaptive to some respiratory infection and allergic reactions.
Participating in Exercises
The more you encourage your kids to play and interact with pets, the better the chances for them to engage in pet exercise and increase their physical activities. This situation is particularly true in the case of having dogs at home. The normal routine of dogs like morning stroll around the neighborhood or playing at the park can entice your child to participate in walking and exercising as well. This type of routine can eventually become structured which will engage a kid to follow the regular activities. Once you have your child fully committed, it is easier for you to get them away from the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle as they grow.
The Social Side of Life
Owning a pet creates a special bond between the owner and pets. However, the connection between them can also extend to the people outside the comfort of their home. Another significant influence of pets to a child is to improve his or her social side of life. Some kids are not confident when talking or dealing with other people. With pets around them, they will be encouraged to go outside and meet some friends. Let’s say in the case of dogs at home. A child accompanying his or her Fido in strolling around the neighborhood gets the chance to interact with other dog walkers and converse with other pet owners in the park. This is where pets act as a bridge to let the child learn the importance of social interaction.
Life’s Basic Lessons
Parents mold their children to build their character and become better adults in the future. However, pets also influence the lives of these children by instilling some valuable lessons they can use in the real world. One of the great lessons they can share is the importance of friendship. Pets are incredible companions. They provide with selfless and unconditional love to the kids. Because of this, a child and pet can build a stronger sense of attachment and life-long memories.
Having pets at home also teaches the child the very essence of basic parenting. When children realize that someone depends on them in the case of providing shelter, feeding, washing or grooming and to name a few, they become more responsible for taking care and nurturing their pets. Eventually, they will understand the value of autonomy and independence.
Kids and pets bring happiness to your home. That is why you need to guarantee that their health should not be compromised. As parents, your responsibility is to guide your kids in going through every phase of their lives. As a responsible owner, it is also essential to provide the same amount of attention and love to your pets. This way, you are giving both of them a conducive environment where they can affect each other positively.
Thank you to guest blogger, Maria Harutyunian. Maris is the PR team lead at Vet Organics. She writes about dogs and pets, in general, to help pet owners like her take better care of their furry family members. She loves pets and believes that all the organic remedies offered by Vet Organics are vital for keeping up your pet’s health.
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