Growing up with pets creates timeless memories that we treasure long into our adult lives. What about giving your children the same opportunity and considering getting a pet? There are a number of benefits that having an animal in the home can bring — Feedem, a dog food and grain-free dog food retailer, explains them:
One of the most obvious benefits of owning a pet is the additional exercise you’ll enjoy. An NHS report estimates that in England, 10% of children in the first year of school are obese. Owning a pet, such as a dog, cat or horse, can introduce exercise into your children’s lives without them being aware of it.
Pets and allergies is a much discussed topic. Some studies have found that growing up around pets causes children to develop more severe symptoms of allergies. However, other studies have refuted these claims, suggesting that being exposed to pets from a young age builds up a protection against the effects of allergens.
Through helping to care for their animals, like feeding, grooming and caring for their pets, your children will be able to learn about respecting animals and their responsibilities. Looking after pets kick-starts the development of parental skills that they could need in later life.
All children look for companionship, so a pet could be a really beneficial addition to the family. This companionship can not only build a child’s confidence and make them more sociable, it can also ease anxiety and make them more likely to discuss their problems. In one study, 40% of 5-year-olds who owned animals mentioned their pets when asked what they did when they felt sad, angry or afraid. Clearly, a pet is a child’s comfort blanket.
Reading & Literacy
It’s really important to develop strong literacy skills at a young age and having a pet can help. A study found that when reading to their dog, children feel more comfortable, are not judged and feel less embarrassed when they make mistakes. Reading out loud to a dog is also more engaging than reading at a desk, so could make kids more eager to get reading.