Introducing a pet into your home is always exciting, especially if you have children in the home. Of course, mixing pets and kids can come with its own set of considerations. When is the time to introduce a pet? What can my kids do to help take care of their new friend? What would be the benefits of having a pet?
When is a good time to introduce a pet?
– The best time to introduce a pet is when your child is around 3 years of age or older. Bringing home a pet is a major commitment of time and the added responsibility can be overwhelming, especially for new parents.
What can my child do to help care for a pet:
– The answer to that question depends on the age of your child. Your child needs to be able to behave responsibly when the pet’s behavior is unknown. Every child is different so you need to be the final judge as to what chores your child can reasonably be expected to manage. Younger children can help get food and water with supervision while older children may be able to take a puppy for regular walks.
What are the benefits of having a pet:
– Pets teach kids valuable lessons about responsibility and compassion. Research has proven that having a pet also gives kids higher self-esteem, mainly because they have a friend who is always happy to see them and who loves them right back just as much.
Having a pet can be healthy for you and your kids:
– It’s been said that kids who grow up with pets are not as likely to have common allergies thanks to early exposure. Of course, there are kids who really are genuinely allergic to animals, so just check before you get one.
Living with and being around pets increases empathy and compassion:
– Studies have shown that having pets around improves your child’s levels for empathy and compassion. Children and their furry, feathered or scaly friends form a deep bond which helps especially when it comes to school and other children they go to school with.
Your Child will always have a friend to play with:
– This is especially true for one child households but it’s true whether you have one child or four. There will be times where at least one of your children will have no one to jump into piles of leaves or color with. BAM! There’s your family pet, always willing to keep a lonely child company.