Do you remember having your childhood pet? Most likely, out of all the pets that you have had throughout your life, the first one remains the most memorable. Many people hold their first pet dearest to their heart. The most memorable moments from your childhood are most likely with your little furry friend that’s as little as you back then. Needless to say, having a pet at a young age has many benefits.
Has your own child been incessantly asking for their own pet? Maybe it’s time to grant them their wish! We know that having a child is already a handful. That’s why adding another living being to take care of at home can be too much. While there are plenty of benefits to gain from pet ownership, you also need to help your child prepare for such responsibility.
If you are interested in learning more about the many benefits of pet ownership and how you can prepare your child for it, then read more!
How Can Pets Help Your Children?
Many studies have already shown that pets are good for young children. Aside from teaching them essential lifelong values, having a pet can also help their physical health. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone! In addition to your child’s overall development, a pet can bring your family closer together. Who would possibly say no to a cuddly and furry family member?
Here are some ways pets can help your kid in their developmental years!
Introduce an Active Lifestyle
Some parents make the mistake of letting their smartphones do their parenting for them. What this does to their children is deny them an active lifestyle that is so important during their childhood years. Instead of developing a fondness for the great outdoors, they are made to be content with consuming all sorts of content from the screens of their smartphones.
What this does is develop a sedentary lifestyle during the years that they are supposed to be running free around your backyard. Fortunately, a pet can come to the rescue. For instance, you can let your child walk their dog around the neighborhood at sunrise. As some studies have shown, playing with a pet increases physical activity among children and even adolescents.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Has your child been stressed recently? Different factors can make your little kid feel unwell emotionally and mentally. When you feel stressed, your body secretes cortisol hormones. Simply put, cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates your bodily functions during a stressful situation. Cuddling and playing with a pet can reduce the amount of these stress hormones in the body.
Aside from lowering stress levels, bonding with a pet has also been proven to help release oxytocin hormones. These hormones are the same hormones that bond mothers to their babies. A study even suggests that oxytocin improves relaxation, trust, and overall mental well-being. When released in the brain, these hormones help reduce stress and anxiety.
Develop Strong Friendships
Even before your child sets foot in kindergarten, they should already have a strong foundation for developing social skills. Studies reveal that spending time with household pets helps develop social skills among children. If your kid has no siblings and spends their time at home alone, they might have problems forming friendships with other people in the future.
Fortunately, pets could help your shy child step out of their comfort zone. Research says that kids who spend more time with their pets become more assertive when it comes to forming relationships with other children. Even children with autism benefit from contact with pets. A study found out that children with autism were more likely to be social with the presence of their pets.
Promote Emotional Intelligence
Empathy is arguably one of the most important values that any human being should have. It is the capacity to feel for one another and see the world through their point of view. Taking care of a pet can teach your child this essential human value. When they seek to understand why their dog is barking or whimpering, they put themselves in their shoes to figure out what they need.
Spending time with pets also improves their non-verbal communication skills. When you communicate with your child, you use words to convey meaning. The case is entirely different with animals, however. If your pets display unusual behavior, your child will be more observant and notice non-verbal cues. This skill is essential when dealing with other people, especially.
Source of Joy in Trying Times
A life-disrupting event will inevitably happen during the formative years of your child. When it happens, your child should have a coping mechanism to help them through. A pet can be that shining beacon amidst the darkness. The wagging tail of their dog will certainly bring a smile to their face despite the difficult situation.
As discussed above, the calming and anxiety-reducing effects of bonding with a beloved pet will come in handy when your child has to face a challenging situation. For instance, when there’s a terrifying lighting storm, your child can seek comfort from their furry buddy until the storm passes. Their pet will be their go-to friend in the ups and downs of life.
Prevent Allergies in the Future
Allergies can be really nasty. For most people, allergies can be a mild inconvenience, but for others, they can be life-threatening. People can be allergic to a myriad of things, including pets! Thankfully, pets in the household can help you and your child develop resistance to all sorts of allergies, in addition to pet allergies. Who knew these little critters can help our immune system?
According to one study, infants raised in a home with multiple pets, like dogs and cats, were found to be significantly less likely to develop allergies than those without pets. Multiple studies throughout the years also reaffirm this finding. Contrary to popular belief, our furry buddies do help our bodies become stronger and more resilient!
Teach the Value of Sharing
If you only have one child, it is easy to spoil them with yummy food, the most expensive toys, beautiful clothes, and whatever else they ask for. While this may make you feel satisfied and fulfilled as a parent, giving in to their every demand can also make them spoiled and selfish. This is something you must correct. As they grow up, they have to learn the value of generosity and share stuff with others.
Once you introduce a pet into your household, your child and the rest of your family must learn how to take care of it. They have to share the house with the furry newcomer. As soon as the little critter gets accustomed to you and your family, it is going to keep asking for everyone’s attention and food. Your child will have to learn to share everything with their new four-legged friend.
A Lesson About Responsibility
Pet ownership is no joke. You can’t leave an impression on your child that just because they asked for a dog, they will get one. Before you go to the pet shop or an animal shelter, make sure that you give your child a stern talking about the gravity and seriousness of pet ownership. Ensure that they understand that the life of a living creature will be entirely dependent on them.
Once you finally get them their very first pet, teach them the basics of pet ownership. Your child must shoulder the burden of responsibility that comes with owning a cat or a dog. They have to feed and bathe it. They have to wake up every morning to take it on a walk. This lesson on responsibility will make them a better person moving forward.
Strengthen the Family Bond
A domestic pet is not merely an animal that you let into your home. Your feline or canine pet is a four-legged part of the family. You should treat it with respect, love, and affection. Due to their playful nature, pets can breathe new life into your home and even become the center of attention. Your pet can certainly add some fun to your family bonding moments!
Hard Lesson on Life’s Impermanence
Here comes the unfortunate yet inevitable part of pet ownership. There will come a day when your pet has to cross the rainbow bridge. While this may no longer be news to you, it will be emotionally devastating for your child. If the worst comes, you should be there to teach your child about the circle of life; that everything has a beginning and an end.
It will be heartbreaking. Remember your own childhood pet? How did you feel when you realized that it had passed away? The memory still stings, doesn’t it? Be the parent whom you wished to be there at that very moment. Let this opportunity be a precious moment between you and your child. Your child will grow stronger from this experience.
How Can You Prepare Your Child for Pet Ownership?
Now that you know the many benefits of pet ownership, you might be wondering about the ways you can introduce a pet to your child. Remember, a dog or a cat is a living creature. You shouldn’t take this task lightly. Your child should be well-prepared for the ups and downs of pet ownership. While it can be a fun experience, it can certainly be a challenging one as well.
Introduce Them to a Friend’s Pet First
Before signing the adoption papers, make sure that your child is already somewhat familiar with the kind of animal you wish to adopt. Unlike their stuffed toys, household pets can’t be thrown around and discarded once they no longer like it. Your child has to be well-acquainted with the animal first before having them committed to taking care of one.
If you have a friend who has a dog or a cat, you can set playdates with them and your child. Your child will get to see what it’s like to interact with an animal before bringing one home. This can also be a chance to teach your child the do’s and don’ts when dealing with animals. For instance, cats don’t like to be touched in certain places. If you do, you can end up getting hurt!
Let Them Do Household Chores
Like what we mentioned above, pet ownership is a lesson in responsibility. This is what you have to effectively convey to your child. You can do this by letting them do more of the house chores at home. Let them pick up after themselves. You can let them do small chores on a regular daily basis, like putting the dishes away and their toys back into their chest.
Pet ownership is mostly about looking after your pet. They have to be fed, bathed, and walked on a regular basis. Simply put, whether they like it or not, it is a chore that they have to accomplish. If they really want a pet, they have to take responsibility for it. You can help them out by showing them how things are supposed to be done and eventually letting them take over eventually.
Get Them a Perfect Petzzz Life-Like Pet
If your child still needs some time to get used to the idea of pet ownership, then maybe a life-like “pet” can help! Perfect Petzzz will let your child experience the joys of having a furry buddy without the hassle that comes with pet ownership. With Perfect Petzzz, you don’t have to worry about accidents and expenses that come with real-life cats and dogs.
Whether your child is a cat or dog person, Perfect Petzzz has many options to choose from! From an Alaskan Husky puppy to a Calico kitten, Perfect Petzzz carries the most desired dog and cat breeds. In addition, they also have traveling tote bags for these little “breathing” stuffed animals. Let your child practice with a Perfect Petzzz before having them commit to a real one!
A childhood pet will be your child’s first and most unforgettable companion. Their very first cherished memories will be with their pet dog or cat. Furthermore, there are many advantages to be gained from having a pet inside your home. However, pet ownership is not always sunshine and rainbows. It is a serious undertaking and commitment that your child has to be prepared for.
As you prepare your child for pet ownership, you can start with a Perfect Petzzz to help them be acquainted with an animal. You can teach them the basics of pet ownership using the Perfect Petzzz as a model. They can pet them and enjoy their companionship, minus the messes and expenses of a real pet. If they do a good job with a Perfect Petzzz, reward them with a real one!Sounds good? Navigate through our website and take your pick among the many Perfect Petzzz breeds!
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