Did you know that 70% of families in America own a pet? What a large percentage!
It’s no wonder if you only knew the immense benefits of raising kids with pets.
Let’s dive into 5 of these great benefits and understand why it’s so popular to have a pet.
When you have a pet in your house, it’s almost like having a kid.
Before my princess Haylee was born, I had 7 cats. I still do, in case you’re wondering. Actually, that number increased to 9 as of now. Yup, I have 9 cats!
Let’s understand what is involved when you have a pet.
You need to feed him, bathe him (except for cats), take care of his poop – whether it’s walking him or cleaning his litter. And of course, you need to provide him with love.
Unfortunately, there are those that believe that having a pet just means providing the physical needs and not the emotional needs, like love. This is extremely sad and not the correct way to view a pet.
However, I will focus on those that treat a pet like a child.
When you show love to your pet, you’re teaching your child how to treat animals. You show your child that animals deserve love and compassion.
Raising kids with pets in the house gives you countless opportunities to instill amazing values in them since they’re seeing you interact positively with the pets.
Kids are like sponges. They absorb everything they see. You may not even realize how much they’re taking in but it just happens.
A perfect example of this is with me and Haylee. Whenever we walk in the street and I see a stray cat, I make a call sound. Haylee picked up on this and now, whenever I ask her if we see a cat, she does an imitation of my call sound.
How amazing that she put the two together and she’s only 14 months old!
Already from several months old, babies can learn to be compassionate towards animals.
Haylee saw how I pet my cats and she copied it. At first, she would pinch them but now she knows how to be gentle with them and pet them softly.
This compassion that kids learn from having animals is ingrained in them and manifests in ways besides just with their pets. They have compassion towards all creatures which is a wonderful benefit!
For more ways of being compassionate towards animals, check out my post on cruelty free diapers.
Once your kid gets a bit older, it’s a great idea to give her some of the pet responsibilities. This can be small things like giving the cat food or washing the dog.
By doing this, you’re teaching your kid a valuable trait – responsibility. You can’t simply forget to feed the cat. He will go hungry. This is something which must be done every day.
When you have your kid take the role of feeding the pet every day, your kid will feel a sense of responsibility towards the pet’s wellbeing.
Not only that, it will likely boost your child’s self-confidence since she knows how important her task is and it will make her feel important.
What a priceless trait you can pass on when raising kids with pets!
Having a pet in your house means that you will always have a companion. Before Haylee was born, my cats would sleep on me so much, whenever I would relax on the couch.
Once she was born, I no longer had the luxury of relaxing on the couch so I couldn’t spend as much time with my cats. However, it’s such a comfort to have them around.
Don’t forget, in the cold winter months, nothing is better than snuggling with your pet!
For your kids, pets can provide great companionship. This can be in the form of your kid playing fetch with the dog. Or taking a snooze with your cat curled up next to your child.
If you only have one child, pets can really make it less lonely. Usually, a sibling is there to play with and connect with but if you only have one child, the pet can be a lovely companion.
A great activity for your child is to have her color animal-themed coloring pages which help with learning about different animals, besides what you have in your home.
Another helpful benefit to raising kids with pets is that it promotes exercise.
It’s so much fun playing with a pet! Making them run around the house or yard chasing a ball is delightful to watch.
When you have a pet, automatically your kid will want to play with him which helps promote exercise.
Which would you rather – your kid glued to the couch playing video games or running around the yard playing fetch with your dog?
I think the second option sounds better to most parents!
Not only does it promote exercise, but it also encourages your kid to hang around outside which is also great for them.
According to Child Mind Institute, children who spend time playing outside are happier, better at paying attention, and less anxious!
Builds immune system
Having a pet has been proven to increase your kid’s immune system! This is actually amazing.
Research has been done which shows that babies living with pets are less likely to need antibiotics and have fewer ear infections and colds in their first year of life.
This alone is a good enough reason for raising kids with pets! Many babies get sick a lot in the first year and I’m sure you would do anything to reduce that.
I can say that this is quite accurate in my family. The first time Haylee got sick was when she was 9 months old! And she was only sick twice in her first year.
Lucky me and lucky her!
Although the first time she got sick, it was really bad. She was sick for almost a month but that’s how the immune system works – it takes time to fight the first infection.
Just imagine how much bacteria your dog brings in the house after every time he goes for a walk outside. Then, you have your baby crawl around on the floor and put all her toys in her mouth.
Some filth is good. It helps build children’s immune systems.
To wrap up
There are many benefits to raising kids with pets and it’s definitely worth it for your family and the pet!
So why not check out your local pet shelter? Just remember – adopt don’t shop!
The only reason that it’s difficult to have a pet is losing one. I just lost one of my beloved cats, Muffin and it’s been so devasting for me! You can read about his story here.
Do you have a family pet? Is it a cat, dog, or something exotic? Let me know in the comments.
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