Monday, July 25th, 2016
Not all parents are open to owning a pet because of different reasons: the kids could be too young to develop responsibility, the kids could get allergies, or perhaps pet ownership is an additional cost that the family budget just can’t afford at the moment. Whatever the reason is, not all children grow up in a household with pets.
A study by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) shows that only 4 in 10 children grow up with a pet at home. However, about 90% of all children eventually experience living with a pet at some point in their childhood.
There are more reasons to help encourage parents to allow the ownership of pets regardless of how young their kids are. In this article, we’ve picked out some of the best reasons that show why having a pet at home is good not just for children, but for all members of the family.
Both parents and education professors agree that pets have positive effects on a child’s reading skills. Children who curl up in a corner of the house with their dog or cat have shown better reading skills and reading comprehension than those who only read because it’s homework. When reading to pets, a child gets to exercise his or her imaginative storytelling skills, while also practicing proper pronunciation and intonation.
Dr. Mary Jalongo from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania conducted a test wherein children were asked to read in front of a) other children, b) an adult, and c) a dog. The research findings showed that the children were most comfortable and relaxed reading to the dog.
Aside from helping children with reading, pets also teach kids the valuable lesson of taking care of another. Knowing how to nurture is not an innate ability. To learn how to take care of others, you have to first learn a sense of responsibility. This is exactly what pet ownership provides.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “too young” to take care of a pet, as long as the adults in the household exert enough effort to guide the child with the pet at all times.
When a kid sees that feeding and grooming the pet makes the pet happy, he or she will also learn to take care of other members of the family to make them happy too.
Children naturally turn to their pets whenever they feel sad, angry or stressed. The best thing about this is, any member of the family can do the same. Grown-ups also feel heaps better after some cuddle time with a domestic animal. This practice teaches family members to bond with kindness and joy instead of sitting around in frustration and negativity.
In the same study by Dr. Jalongo, kids were asked what their advice was to other kids. The top answer wasn’t about toys or material possessions. It was: get a pet!
A study by Dennis Ownby, MD from the Medical College of Georgia showed that owning multiple pets actually decreased a child’s chances of developing certain allergies. When children are exposed to animals at a younger age, they develop the immunity they need to fight off common skin and respiratory allergies. Other studies also suggest that exposure to pets could decrease a child’s risk of suffering from asthma.
It turns out that the bacteria that we can get from dogs or cats is actually important for our immune system to grow stronger. When children are too sheltered from bacteria, their immune systems may be underdeveloped and this could lead to worse complications when they are older.
If you are still reluctant about owning a pet because you are anxious about where to leave your pet when you have to go on trips, worry no more. Pet Nanny provides professional pet-sitting and dog walking services. You can trust us to take care of your pet with the same love and attention that you would give. Call us at 734-981-6108 to know more or fill out our on-line contact form and we will contact you!