Whether parents should allow their kids to keep a pet or not has been discussed for ages. We have listed quite a few reasons proving that a pet at home is a positive thing.

Animals teach kids to understand some important aspects. They also teach them essential skills that will be of great use for your children in the long run.

1. Self-Confidence

Once a child understands that there is someone in his life whom he is supposed to take care of he starts being more self-confident. A puppy or a kitten needs love, care, and attention. The child realizes that his pet relies on him. He feeds and walks the pet, he watches it grow and of course he understands that all this has been achieved due to his efforts. Another thing is that children find out what being compassionate and emphatic is when their pet falls ill and needs a vet.

2. Responsibility

Your child has a pet and takes care of it. What are the benefits? Well, this is one of the ways how children learn to take care of themselves as well! Feeding, entertaining, exercising pets takes time, efforts and skills. If the pet feels sad, lonely and neglected, the child feels responsible for this and understands that this is his fault.

3. Better Health

Scientists have proved that kids who have pets are less prone to allergies and asthma. The sooner you expose your child to pets the better he will adapt to allergens. It’s better to obtain a pet before your child is one year old. This is when kids develop their immune system. It has been estimated that kids who grow up with pets are 50% less likely to develop the most severe forms of allergies in the future.

4. Physical Activity

Most indoor pets need exercise and play. So do your kids! Why not allow your child to keep a pet and let him play and stay active and in good physical condition? A healthy, happy child who spends more time outdoors while walking his dog is a great idea. If the pet is small, such as a cat, and does not involve indoor activities, still your child can spend some time playing with it at home.

5. Calmness

Pets might easily become your child’s friends. This happens because pets bring a sense of comfort for us. They cannot disappoint or betray. It is said that animals are the best friends because they never judge. They are also quick to forgive. This is very important for your children to learn and try to behave the same way when they deal with other people.

6. Less Stress and Tension

Pets, especially dogs, are good at relieving tension and stress. They are always in good mood and they need so little to stay happy! Playing with a pet, cuddling or talking with it can make a child feel safe and secure. It is easier for a child to share his secrets with his pet because pets are the best listeners, they never scold or give advice – the two things usually hated by kids. Even those family members who belong to older generations will love spending time with the pet and watch it play with kids.

7. Better Reading Skills

If your child goes to school there is another reason why you should let your kid own a pet. Curiously enough, pets might help children improve their reading skills. Some children feel less comfortable reading aloud to adults and they are totally happy to read aloud to their pets! This happens just because pets do not correct mistakes, they do not make them reread the text, and so on. Children feel more relaxed and willing to practice reading.

8. As You Sow So Shall You Reap

Owning a pet is all about taking good care of it to make the animal happy. If pets are not loved or taken care of then they look and feel unhealthy, neglected, and lonely. They can even die! They need food to survive, some exercise to stay in shape and simply kept in a clean environment. If all those essential things are not done properly, then the child might not like the result and he will definitely understand the mistakes he makes.

9. Finding Out More about Commitment

Having a pet is a 24/7 relationship. It is commitment on your child’s part. Pets are not toys and cannot be put aside for a day or two – they need care and attention every day. Children who own pets learn about commitment much sooner than those who have never had a pet. Understanding what commitment really means will help the child in his future relationships with people.

10. Discipline

Children hate following rules. They are usually carefree, which is quite natural. But while growing with a pet, any child, whether he likes it or not, will learn a lot about self-control. Pets really teach children discipline – they make them get up earlier in the morning to walk and feed them, clean the cat’s litter box, tidy the parrot’s cage or fish tank.

As we can see, there are quite a few reasons why we should allow our children to own pets. There are many essential skills that children will improve. They will also learn a lot of new things about themselves, their pets, and the importance of such commitment.