Many parents often think twice about getting a pet for their kids. After all, they're animals capable of scratching, biting, and there's also the possibility of them triggering allergies.
But does owning a pet actually outweighs all the negatives?
Below is some amazing evidence proving that getting a pet is one of the best gifts you can give to your kids!
Pets strengthen the immune system
Pets, particularly those allowed outside, may bring unwanted stuff inside the house, such as dirt, pollen, and other particles that may trigger allergies.
It may drive you mad trying to clean up, but getting your kids exposed to this stuff actually trains their immune systems to get used to it.
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, children who grew up with dogs or cats from age 1 had 44% fewer ear infections and 31% fewer respiratory tract infections.
So yes, allowing pets inside your home is proven to be an effective way to give their immune systems a boost by teaching their bodies to be immune to the germs found in dirt, dust, pollen, and animal dander.
Pets are a confidence booster
One of the best things about owning a pet is that your children can have a regular playmate at a young age. Children, especially those without siblings, may feel lonely at times but having a furry friend around makes things much better.
Pets will love you no matter who you are and what you're capable of, and knowing there's a loving animal at home, no matter what mistakes they make, is a great way to improve kids' self-esteem.
Pets teach kids to build relationships with other people
At times, children may be put in a situation where they feel like they have nothing in common with anyone else. However, owning a pet is a common ground they can find in other children, making approaching other kids easier. Even the most timid of kids will be more confident if they find out another child has a pet.
Pets make better communities. Both kids and adults can bond with their friends by participating in pet shows together, walking dogs, taking their cats for a grooming session, and much more. Clearly, pets bring people together!
Pets teach kids how to be responsible
Pets are like kids too.
They must be fed, groomed, cared for, played with, and have a loving and comfortable home.
Some little tasks can be assigned to your children, such as cleaning the litter box or refreshing the water bowl. These tasks make for solid responsibilities that kids will learn to follow and maintain at a young age.
Most pets are creatures of habit, so in a way, you're allowing your kids to learn when their pets must eat or play. By following a schedule, kids are essentially learning how to be responsible.
Pets make kids smarter
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol, cat owners are more likely to graduate college and get a degree.
Cats are sly and interesting creatures and their owners may have to find ways to outwit them (like getting them to use the scratcher, instead of your couch!). These things are great activities for children's brains.
Since children are curious creatures themselves, they may start reading and researching more about their pets; how they can entertain them and keep them happy at all times. When these skills are developed, it won't be so hard for kids to learn new things and understand different concepts every day.
Pets help develop the habit of reading
Not many kids these days love reading, especially youngsters whose idea of fun is playing video games or even running around outside.
However, you can encourage your kids to start reading by including your pets. Hanging out with their furry buddies and encouraging them to read aloud with them improves kids’ literacy.
Pets make a great audience since they sit around listening and make no judgments. Without anyone pressuring kids, it will make reading easier because they are more relaxed and see it more as a fun activity.
Pets teach kids the value of empathy
According to the American Humane Society, giving kids the responsibility of caring for a pet makes them understand what respect and love mean. It's the reason why therapy animals exist, simply because they can foster a bond with another human being.
With empathy developed for their pets, kids will learn to translate this at school, whether while learning or playing. If a child learns how to be kind to animals, learning how to be kind to fellow kids and adults will come naturally.
Pets help kids become more active
It is easy to understand this point. We all know that pets, such as dogs and cats, need to be played with often.
A cat will want to climb and jump, while dogs love a good ball or a walk in the neighborhood. These activities, no matter how simple they can be, are good enough exercise for young children and teenagers.
Instead of laying on the couch, playing games, or surfing endlessly on the internet, having a fun activity with pets will allow the body to stretch and maybe even break a sweat. You can even encourage young kids to imitate your cat's yoga-like movements during playtime!
Pets foster young entrepreneurs
This may be hard to believe, but some kids have actually developed some ways to earn money while spending time with animals.
Pet sitting is one common way, but other kids have started small businesses making collars, animal costumes, and other accessories for dogs, cats, and other pets.
While not all kids take this seriously, these little things teach children what being responsible is and how to manage their finances.
Encouraging children to practice these habits at a young age is important so they can bring it with them in their adulthood.
So...what's stopping you from getting a furry friend now?