We have Gus the Goldendoodle, and before that we socialised the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf puppies. My children are so proud of the work they did with our Hearing Dog puppies. They have very fond memories of running around with them, training them, feeding them. Then the rewarding feeling of changing someones life when they went off to be trained, and matched with their recipient.
I thought this guest post was a perfect match for us, and I wanted to share it with you. I agree with everything that is written, and we gain so much from having a pet and children together. Of course it isn’t for everyone, and it is such a big commitment too. I think as a family it is important to discuss the reasons for and against if you are thinking about a pet, or if your children keep asking!
Pets & Children: A match made in heaven?
We all have them — those childhood pets that you’ve grown up with and remember fondly. If you’re anything like us, they were your best friends who you spent so much time with through thick and thin.
For many parents, this bond is something they want to pass on to their own children, yet many are hesitant to get a pet. Whether it’s a dog, cat or humble goldfish, here natural dog food retailer, Feedem, explains the many benefits of letting your child grow up with a pet.
If you are considering getting a pet, one of your main motivations may be to improve the overall health of the family. Taking the dog for a walk or playing with the cat is a great way to combat the sedentary lives an increasing number of British families are living.
An NHS report has found that in England, 10% of children in their first year of school are obese. A pet is a great way to introduce exercise into their lifestyles without them really being aware of it. Before they know it, an after-school dog walk will be second nature to them.
Pets are the second-most common cause of allergy in UK homes. Studies have been carried out to establish the impact of having pets while your children are younger on their allergies. Some have established that children who are exposed to pets at a young age can develop more severe allergy symptoms, while others have shown that the exposure has a protective effect with regards to allergens. Further research is required to fully establish the affects pets have on children’s allergies.
Having a pet is a great way to teach your little one about responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as teaching them about compassion and respect for animals — and is the same whether they’re looking after a dog or a goldfish.
By asking your child to get involved in feeding and caring for their pet, they’ll learn how important their actions are and it’ll give them a greater level of responsibility in the home. This helps to lay the foundation for parental skills in later life.
Having a pet like a cat or dog around the house can provide a source of companionship for your children. When a group of 5-year-old pet owners were asked what they did when they felt sad, angry or afraid, over 40% said mentioned their pets. Clearly, having a pet has a positive impact on anxiety, improving their communication skills and the ability to discuss their problems.
Despite not being able to read themselves, dogs can actually aid the development of a child’s literacy skills. When reading to their dog, children feel comfortable and not judged or embarrassed if they make a mistake. Dogs don’t interrupt either and make reading more enjoyable. It’s more engaging than sitting at a desk and reading alone, helping your little ones to better engage with their homework.