Having a family pet can benefit your child’s emotional intelligence, according to many scientific studies. Research also shows that pets can have a positive effect on your child’s health. Here are six advantages for kids who have a pet in the home.
1) They have higher self-esteem
When children help with a pet’s care, they generally show an improvement in self-esteem. Of course, the tasks should be age-appropriate
2) They’re more compassionate
Studies have shown that children who had pets were more sympathetic towards others. If there are pets in the house, children learn at an early age how to care for and nurture a dependent animal.
3) They have better cognitive skills
Research has suggested that kids who talk to their pets show improved cognitive development.
4) They have less stress
Petting a dog or listening to a cat purr has been proven to lower cortisol levels in children and adults.
5) They’re happier
Playing with a pet raises serotonin levels and dopamine, which tends to calm their mind making them happier.
6) They’re healthier
One reason is that they are more active while playing with their pet. Studies have suggested that children who have dogs or cats might have a decreased chance of developing allergies.
If you are selecting a dog for your child, make sure to research the breeds and take into account your family’s lifestyle so that you can ensure that the dog you get is the best fit for your entire family.
Be sure to educate your children about dog body language and always supervise their interactions until you are sure your child knows the safest and healthiest way to play with their new friend.
If selecting a cat from a shelter, you’ll want to walk through the shelter, looking at all the cats. Take notice of any of the cats who try to follow you or look interested in you. A curious cat is more likely to do better in a family than one who appears too aloof.
Once chosen, you need to work with your child to understand the body language of the cat. Your child needs to recognize when the cat wants attention and when he wants some alone time. It’s essential in the beginning to supervise the interaction your child has with the cat.