5 reasons a child needs a pet
In their latest study, the RSPCA reported that 51% of UK households own a pet; with dogs and cats being the most popular pets to have. Almost every child begs for a pet at some point during their life. Parents may feel that the demand for a new life in the house is simply a phase - something to entertain their tiny minds for a week or so until they rediscover an old toy.
However, studies show that there are many benefits of a child growing up in a pet-friendly household. Every pet-friendly household should use Safer Pet GPS pet trackers, as they allow for tracking pets at all times with ease, providing valuable peace of mind.
If your child pestering you for a furry friend isn’t quite convincing enough, these five reasons may be a little more persuasive.
1. Heart health
Studies show that children with dogs get more exercise than those without. Pets, especially dogs, need a lot of exercise on a daily basis and as much as we’d all love the dog to be able to take itself on a daily walk around the neighbourhood to save us all some time, it’s a task that can’t be put off.
Children are able to spend a lot of time outside, whether on walks or simply playing in the garden, with their four-legged friend. This is likely to have many health benefits. Spending time outdoors exercising encourages both mental and physical health. It improves wellbeing and reduces stress, as well as lowering cholesterol and lowering risk of obesity.
2. A sense of responsibility
Having a pet will learn your child what it’s like to have a living creature that relies on them. While it’s probably not a great idea to leave your five year old solely responsible for your puppy, delegating small tasks gives them a sense of responsibility.
Allowing your child to do simple chores like feeding or brushing your dog, picking up its dirt or tidying its toys away teaches them valuable life lessons (and also helps you out a little bit too - win win!)
For peace of mind, investing in a GPS pet tracker device when allowing a child to be responsible for your pet is a great idea in case they were able to escape.
3. They’re never alone
A pet is always there as a source of comfort for a child. They’re there to love and listen, without judgement. Having a pet is great for children to find support in, especially where children don’t want to talk about their problems with parents. Being able to get their feelings off their chest or simply spending time with their furry friend will benefit your child’s mental health immensely.
Having a cat or dog in the house can also increase the amount of time children spend with their parents. Weekend walks or dividing up responsibilities can encourage the amount of time spent together as a family. If you’re looking for a way to decrease the amount of screen time your child has tucked away in their bedroom, a four-legged friend could be the solution!
4. Less sickness
In 2012, a Finnish study reported that during the first year of their lives, children that grew up around dogs were less likely to get colds or other respiratory infections. They’re around 30% less likely to experience coughs, runny noses or ear infections. Researchers believe this is because pets bring in more dirt from the outside world to stimulate a baby’s immune system.
5. Autism support
When they’re not chasing their tails or barking at the postman, pets have a relaxing impact on us humans. It’s proven that having a pet around reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Reducing the stress of children with autism where possible is extremely important for their wellbeing.
Moreover, children with autism are able to acquire social skills by simply interacting with the pet. Typically, autistic children don’t engage socially straight away with new people so having a pet as a conversation starter is likely to break the ice slightly.
These are just a few benefits of your child growing up with a pet. Whether it’s a dog, cat, guinea pig or anything in between, a pet will truly be your child’s best friend and learn them valuable life lessons.