If you are trying to build a family bond or you’re thinking that, rather than having toys, your children could benefit from pets, it’s something we can certainly be on the fence about. After all, pets are a big commitment. But before you bring a pet into the family it’s important to know the top reasons why having a pet is actually good for everyone in the household, including the following:
They Can Decrease Allergies
Research has shown that children who grow up in homes with pets are more likely to have a stronger immune system and are less likely to develop asthma or allergies. Children who own pets are more able to fight off colds and flu better than children without pets. So if you’re looking for the right pet to help keep your children in school, a dog is the perfect place to begin.
They don’t have a major impact on allergies in general, meaning that you, as the parent, can benefit. There are plenty of resources out there, including Luckylabs that can get you started with the right dog for your needs.
Can Help With Learning
Many educators have used dogs as a type of therapy. Animals have been beneficial to help children learn to read, and this is because children feel more comfortable reading out loud to animals. Pets can be non-judgemental friends, which can be an amazing benefit, not just for children but for adults as well.
As adults, we can find ourselves at odds with conflicting thoughts, and this means that having a non-judgemental friend like a dog who will give us unconditional love, no matter what the outcome is, can help us to deal with the trials and tribulations of life. Pets like dogs can help us all to learn.
Teaches Our Children Responsibility
From walking the dog to cleaning up after them, having an animal in the house can teach our children a sense of responsibility. Having a pet means that we’ve got to get into the rhythm of cleaning on a regular basis, which is why for friends of yours who are looking to start a family but don’t have pets, a dog or a cat could be that perfect starting point. However, never give a pet as a gift. This is how so many pets end up at a shelter.
As parents, when we were pregnant, we can hit that nesting phase where we feel the need to clean everything. Having a pet gives you a head start on the process even before you’re pregnant!
Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the biggest parental problems in having children in the modern world is trying to keep them active and healthy. But we have to remember that we, the parents, set the precedent. Children are only going to learn their healthy (or unhealthy) habits from us. If we tell our children to eat their greens, but we have the same indifferent attitude, the fact is our children are going to develop these unhealthy habits. And if they see us on our phones, this is communicating to them that a sedentary lifestyle is okay. The solution? A pet!
A pet is going to be the perfect way to prompt healthy living. From walking the dog once or twice a day to playing with them in the garden, there is a lot to having a pet that provides that reminder that we’ve got to be healthier. There is the cliche that sometimes the dog will eat better than we do, and when we look at the things that dogs eat to maintain their health, we can take a leaf out of their book. But it’s also a solid lesson in us needing to be more active. The fact is that even 10 minutes of walking a day can do a lot for our physical mental and cognitive abilities.
Having a pet like a dog that we have to walk on a regular basis gives us that reason to get off the couch. There are fewer reasons to get up and about these days, which is why we must all develop healthier attitudes. A dog is a fantastic shortcut to this.
Comfort and Companionship
Pets are an amazing way to provide reassurance support and security. Whether we’re feeling anxious, withdrawn, or aren’t in the best mood, having a pet like a dog who offers complete companionship and comforts is an amazing resource for everybody.
As parents, we all have those days when we are just not feeling our best. Whether we are feeling tired, overwhelmed, or overworked, our children can also feel the same. Children are experiencing more pressure in educational settings than we ever did, and it’s so important to have outlets and have a companion that just listens and helps us to get those thoughts out that also offers that constant companionship. Having a pet can mean that our children feel less withdrawn or anxious because of this very reason.
Lowers Our Blood Pressure
Having a pet can be amazing for controlling our stress levels. Stroking animals stimulates Theta waves, which are present in our brain when we are meditating or focusing inwards. Having the opportunity to stroke a dog or a cat whenever we want can help us to feel calm and centered when everything else around us is too much.
For children who are feeling overwhelmed with homework or exams, having a pet nearby can naturally make a big difference to their stress levels and lower their blood pressure, giving them the tools to tackle any stress in their lives.
Helps the Family Bond
As our children get older, they will want to break apart from us and be their own person. This is not a bad thing at all, but we may want to help promote that family bond. And we can try to build this bond through regular family activities, but when we are working too much or we don’t spend enough time together as a family, the one constant that is at home, even if we are not, is the pet.
At the very least, if you don’t have anything in common with your child anymore, actually talking about if the dog or cat has been fed or walked provides a conversation point, but also opting to walk the dog or grooming the pet together are simple but effective tasks that can help any family to slow down and enjoy each other’s company. Therefore, there will be more communication with each other.
Can Help Reduce Feelings of Isolation
If your child is not very outgoing, a pet can be a fantastic addition to the household. A pet can help our children to ward off feelings of loneliness because they are a simple reminder that we are not alone. Additionally, the unconditional love they offer can be fantastic when we are feeling isolated.
Every family member will have feelings of isolation from time to time, and going back to this idea of the pet being an amazing sounding board can help us understand that we are not alone. When there is someone in the house that we have to look after, this can be a fantastic motivation for us to step up to the plate. What’s more, a pet promotes routine, which can help to keep depression at bay.
Helps Our Children Deal With Bigger Issues
As parents, we may want to protect our children from the difficulties of the world, especially when it comes to death. A child’s first exposure to death is when a pet dies. When a pet sadly passes away, it often opens up a dialogue about life that can help them later when a beloved family member passes. Rather than telling our children that the pet “went to live next door,” this is the perfect opportunity to teach them, in an age-appropriate, way about the circle of life.
Dealing with the death of a pet can help our children to process grief naturally. The grieving process can be broken down into a number of stages that we, as adults, may either try to shrug off or avoid completely. But because our children are younger and have potentially not been exposed to death in the same way, gives us the perfect opportunity to help them. It’s natural to be devastated by sadness and grief and learning how to cope can be an amazing skill that can help our children cope with other challenging events in life.
The Fun Factor
For all the health and wellness benefits, psychologically, physically, and emotionally, a pet can bring, we can’t underestimate the sense of fun that a pet brings to any household. Coming back after a hard day and seeing our dog’s smiling face is all we need to shake off the stresses, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to just have fun!
It’s such a simple reminder that sometimes we can take life too seriously, and this can transfer to our children. Pets in the family can do so much, and whether you’ve never had a pet before or you’re thinking your children could benefit, there are clearly a lot of positives to be had from pets.