Chances are, you've had the thought or discussion surrounding whether or not you should get your child a pet.
For some of us, including those who live in small spaces or apartments, the decision is usually limited to something small, like a hamster or a lizard. These pets can definitely help instil some responsibility and structure into a child's life!
But if you're fortunate enough to have the room for a cat or a dog, the decision takes on a bit more weight. Cats and dogs make their presence known a lot more than a small animal that spends most of it's time in a cage.
After looking into the research, we've discovered that there are 9 good reasons why you should get a pet for your child. We've included them in an infographic and in the article below.
1. Boost kids' immune systems
Babies with animals at home are sick much less frequently than those without, thanks to the immune system boost provided by living with cats and dogs.
2. Build confidence
Knowing there's a non-judgmental friend waiting for you at home helps raise confidence, as proven by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
3. Build friendships
Pets provide a common bond between people who may have never otherwise met or talked. It's a great subject to become passionately engaged in conversation with another person about.
4. Teach responsibility
Feed the cat, walk the dog, pick up the poop. The list of tasks that need to be done to keep up with a pet are endless! This helps teach children responsibility and structure.
5. Make kids smarter
Cat owners are more likely to have university degrees, according to the University of Bristol. Furthermore, many kids become fascinated by their pets, which leads them to spend time researching and learning about them.
6. Learn to read better
When a child can read to a pet, they get an audience who never corrects or judges them. Reading aloud to pets can help improve literacy.
7. Teach empathy
Children learn compassion, love, kindness, and respect when taking care of their pet, which can set them up to be healthily empathetic for life.
8. Exercise more
Whether it's walking the dog or literally chasing the cat around the house, there's no doubt that your child will get a lot of extra activity by having a pet around!
9. Foster young entrepreneurs
While some kids start lemonade stands, children with pets often start a lifetime of entrepreneurship by starting dog walking, pet sitting, or poop scooping businesses.