Pets can make an impression on every member of the family, but the bond between a child and a pet can become a special one with lifelong effects.
From increased physical activity to a positive impact on confidence and social skills, there are many ways younger family members can benefit from growing up alongside a furry friend.
#1 Increased Physical Activity
Whether taking a walk or playing fetch, pets provide unique opportunities for children to engage in physical activities, both indoors and out. As a bonus, encouraging children to expel energy alongside their pets can tire out both rambunctious parties, which can benefit the whole family.
#2 Empathy and Companionship
No matter what may be going on in a child’s life, a pet can be there through highs and lows as a constant friend. Research shows a pet can help reduce stress and moderate its impact. Having a companion animal like a cat or dog may provide the secure attachment and emotional support a child needs. This impact can also be seen through the CESAR brand’s First Day Friends program, which celebrates the benefits of the human-animal bond in the classroom.
#3 Improved Social Skills and Self-Esteem
Kids with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness and enhanced social skills, according to a study from the WALTHAM™ Centre for Pet Nutrition. Moreover, simply owning a pet can help facilitate conversation between children who may find social settings difficult, ultimately learning to form bonds and friendships with their peers.
Pet ownership can help teach kids about responsibility and caring for another living being. Feeding, cleaning, walking and grooming are all activities that appropriately aged children can do with the help of an adult. With single-serving dog food options, it can be easy to teach children about their pets’ mealtime routines, including how much and how often to feed them.