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  • Writer's pictureElm Hill Academy

Why Every Child Should Have a Pet

A pet can be a wonderful addition to any family. They provide love and affection and are always there when you need them. Along with the personal benefits of having a family dog, it also has additional benefits for your child! Read along to learn some reasons why every child should have a pet.

Shows Kids Unconditional Love

When you come home, they're usually the first ones to greet you and are great company when in their presence. Research suggests that animals such as dogs can sense when a person is happy or sad. This can be a way for your child to express their emotions with a non-judgmental companion, which can make kids feel safe and comfortable. The American Heart Association suggests that having a pet can release endorphins, which lead to us feeling happy and loved.

little girl holding cat looking outside

Teaches Responsibility

Taking care of a pet is a perfect way to teach your child what it means to be responsible. Having kids in charge of refilling the pets' water and food dish is a great way to get kids involved in caring for their new friend. If your child is too young to do this, have their job be to alert you when the food and water are low. This can help kids understand why being responsible is important and can be a way for them to practice this skill on a daily basis. Make a chart for kids to show them what they are in charge of and have them check off each time they complete a task.

Promotes Physical Activity

With technology deeply intertwined in our everyday lives, it can be hard to get kids outdoors. Pets like dogs can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise into our daily routines, making us healthier. Studies have shown that kid's self-esteem and confidence increase by having a family pet. Going for family walks can be a way to get the family together while improving kids' overall health in the process.

Improves Mood

Being around animals increase the level of serotonin and dopamine in your brain which leads to us feeling happy. Seeing your dog wag their tail, playing fetch with them, or sitting on the couch together are all ways to help increase our happiness. If your child is having a bad day, they can ease their stress and frustration by spending time with something they care about. This can be a great way for kids to de-stress and process their emotions.

As you can see, there are many benefits to owning a family pet! They show us, unconditional love, teach kids responsibility, makes us more physically active, and improves mood. Check out the resources below to learn more about the benefits of having a pet!

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