Getting a pet for your child is a big decision to make, but you’ll find this is an enjoyable way to instill important values in him. A pet can be a very lovable companion, and the positive relationship your child builds with his new companion will pave the way for healthy relationships he’ll have with peers and family.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider getting a pet for your kid.

 

  1. It’s good for their physical health. Kids with pets are known to be less susceptible to common allergies and asthma growing up. With the responsibility of keeping a pet active, your child will learn to make time for outdoor play and daily walks instead of being glued to the screen all day long. Your child will learn to practice good hygiene when he is encouraged to wash up after playing outside.

 

  1. Having a pet helps improve social skills. Pets have feelings and needs, too, and the more your child plays and takes care of them, the more empathy he shows to their peers and family members. Having a pet also helps you build a collaborative relationship with your child when you play together. If your child wants to teach their pet new tricks, he’ll be able to learn more about patience, determination, and leadership.

 

  1. Taking care of a pet teaches responsibility the fun way. Some children may struggle learning obedience, but following simple pet care instructions will help them become more thoughtful and trustworthy. Many pets have diets to follow, and this is a good way to teach your child about nutrition. With your help, your child will learn about the right amount of food to give, what eating schedule to follow, and the certain food he should avoid to keep his pet in good health. Leave the grooming to the adults, but your child might enjoy giving his pet a bath out in the yard once a week! By taking care of a pet, your child learns to respect living things and their own unique needs.

 

  1. Being a pet parent boosts self-esteem. Children take pride in being able to accomplish important tasks with their pets, like teaching tricks and following feeding schedules. Allowing them to care for a pet helps them feel independent and capable when given tasks, and helps them to do well at school. Your child’s confidence will also help motivate him to try new hobbies and follow through with different activities.

 

  1. Having a pet reduces stress. Many children confide in their pets when they are anxious, and this allows them to express their thoughts in a healthy way instead of keeping their feelings to themselves. Pets reduce loneliness in children, especially those without siblings and regular playtime with other kids. Animals are able to offer emotional support to children, without ever imposing judgement or criticism onto them. Consistently engaging in physical activities with their pet also helps boost their mood and value the special relationship they’ve built together.

 

If you're looking to adopt a family pet, make sure that everyone understands the time and commitment it takes to take care of another life. There are many things to consider before introducing your child to his new pet, but the lessons learned and the love shared in this companionship will prove to be valuable in the physical, interpersonal and emotional aspects of your child’s lifelong health.