Here's How Pets Aid Child Development

Here's How Pets Aid Child Development

Choosing to have a pet in your home is a decision that has many benefits for your children's development, far beyond the simple pleasure of having company

Dr Bhoomika RUpdated: Sunday, November 19, 2023, 11:16 AM IST
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Choosing to have a pet in your home is a decision that has many benefits for your children's development, far beyond the simple pleasure of having company. The bond between humans and animals has been documented throughout history, and today, scientific research supports the idea that having a pet can contribute significantly to a child's physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Companionship and emotional support: One of the most important benefits of having a pet is the companionship they provide. Pets become loyal companions, providing unconditional love for children, particularly those who may feel lonely or anxious. A pet can be a source of emotional support, fostering a sense of security and comfort for kids.

Encourages physical activity: Having a pet around frequently promotes physical activity. The relationship between a child and their pet encourages a more active lifestyle, whether it be through interactive games, walks on a leash with a cat, or games like fetch. Frequent exercise is important for a child's health because it helps them to develop strong muscles, coordination, and general physical fitness

Stress reduction: The presence of pets has been linked to reduced stress levels. It has been demonstrated that interacting with animals reduces the stress hormone cortisol and increases the release of the bonding hormone Oxytocin. A pet's soothing presence can offer kids who are struggling with school or other stressors a much-needed break

Compassion and empathy: Children learn empathy and compassion through taking care of living things. By observing and responding to the needs of their pets, children develop a greater understanding of the feelings and needs of others

Responsibility and routine: Taking care of a pet requires a level of responsibility that is particularly advantageous for kids. Attending to a pet's needs (feeding, grooming) establishes a routine that teaches children commitment and also helps them gain valuable life skills, including time management and organization.

Social development: Pets help children to develop their social skills by acting as social facilitators. The responsibility of caring for a pet can strengthen family bonds, and interactions with neighbours and other pet owners. Thus providing socialization opportunities, especially for those children who may struggle with social anxiety or communication. A pet can act as a bridge for kids' development

(Dr Bhoomika R is a product executive at Drools)

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