Benefits of Raising Your Child with a Pet

Raising Caring and Responsible Kids: Benefits of Growing Up with Pets

This week we celebrated my dog’s fifth birthday. I can’t even begin to explain what a wonderful addition Gracie has been to our family. When we were told we had less than a 1% chance of having a child of our own, we decided to adopt a fur baby. Two weeks later, we were pregnant. Not only did our pup contribute to our own little miracle, she is the best big sister ever.

Baby and Dog

Raising your child with a pet is truly a joyous experience for the entire family. I shared my Top 5 Reasons You Should Raise Your Prince or Princess with a Pet here and on Creative Child. But today, we have the fabulous Tracey Clayton here with a new guest post on how raising your child with a pet will help them grow up to be caring and responsible adults. Read on!

Raising Caring and Responsible Kids: Benefits of Growing Up with Pets

Benefits of Raising Your Child with a Pet

The bond between a child and their pet is like no other. Our cats and dogs become parts of our families and they remind us every day that we are loved. They are simple and very easy to please as long as they are provided with care and shelter. If you want to teach your child how to be reliable and at the same time give them a loyal companion, get them a pet. You won’t be the only one who’s giving, as animals have a lot to give back, and they can teach your kids quite a few things.

Pets Help with Shyness

If your child has difficulties socializing, having a pet might help them open up more. This is especially true for sick children or children who experienced some trauma in the past, as pets have a very soothing effect on the psyche. Kids intuitively recognize that they can trust animals, and even the most frightened child will respond well to a friendly dog or cat.

This is a good way to bring them out of their shell and get them to learn basic social graces. Pets are also good conversation starters – if you are outside, walking your dog, other pet owners will want to approach and chat. Learning to trust someone other than their parents can be difficult for any child, so this is a step in the right direction.

Child and Pet

Learning Responsibility

You want to teach your kid how to be responsible from early on, and having an animal in the house will do just that. Tell your child that if they want to keep them, they’ll have to take care of them, feed them, walk them, clean up after them and love them. Teach them everything, from how to soothe the animal when they are upset, to what kind of food they are allowed to eat.

If you are going away on vacation, help your child find appropriate pet boarding options. You can find a pet sitter that will take care of your cat or dog while you’re away. Having a pet teaches your child how to respond to obligations and what being responsible for someone truly means.

Little Girl and Dog

Pets Teach Unconditional Love and Empathy

The uncomplicated love of our pets is almost a sacred thing to anyone who’s ever felt it. They love with no reservations, without demanding anything. If you show them affection, they will give it back tenfold and remain eternally loyal to you. This kind of loyalty is exactly what your child needs to build confidence, but also empathy. Our pets depend on us to take care of them, and in a lot of

Our pets depend on us to take care of them, and in a lot of ways, they are very frail without us. This kind of connection teaches the child that other beings around them are influenced by the things they do and that they can hurt someone a lot if they neglect them. It teaches them to pay attention to the needs of others and respond accordingly. It can also help them recognize whether other people have good or bad intentions towards them.

Baby and Dog

Physical Well-Being

Besides being good for our mental health, pets affect our physical state as well. If you have a dog, then the benefits are obvious. Frequent walks are good for our overall fitness, and being outside in fresh air instead of sitting in front of a computer all day will save your kid’s vision and help them avoid headaches and back problems later on.

But it’s not just dogs that benefit our physical health. Cats, too, play a role in helping us stay healthy. Research shows that children who were exposed to house animals early on had fewer respiratory problems later in life. Pets also help lower the blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Not to mention that dogs often act as guardians, protecting the child.

Baby and Cat

One thing to consider when getting a pet for your family is whether to buy or adopt. Adoption is recommended because you’ll be saving a life and the bond will be even stronger because of it. There are many lonely animals out there, and all of them would be happy and grateful if they could find their forever home.
Sleeping Girl and Puppy

About the Author:

Tracey Clayton

Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

Be sure to read Tracey’s other guest posts here on A Mama Tale:

Fun and Frugal Crafting Ideas You Can Do With Your Kids

5 Ways I Have Fallen in Love with Myself After Giving Birth

The Importance of Reading: How to Make Your Kids Fall in Love with Reading.

And check out her other fabulous articles below!

(More) Fun and Frugal Crafting Ideas You Can Do with Your Kids

Rebuilding Body Confidence: My Return After Third Pregnancy

Simple Ideas to Mend a Selfish Child into a Thankful One

Rebuilding Body Confidence After Pregnancy

Are your raising your child with a pet? What benefits have you seen? Please comment below and share your stories about your fur babies!

Raising Caring and Responsible Kids Benefits of Pet
Raising Caring and Responsible Kids

10 thoughts on “Raising Caring and Responsible Kids: Benefits of Growing Up with Pets

  1. I love this post. I can’t imagine growing up without a pet as I had dogs all throughout my childhood and they were a part of our family.
    But my little family of 4 now, we don’t have any pets.
    My 5 year old is petrified of dogs and cats. He has autism and literally jumps up into my arms whenever a dog or cat walks by him. He definitely needs help in the social challenges he has and I’d love for him to be able to be helped and comforted by a dog.. thanks for getting me thinking about this again!

    1. In my classroom experience, I have had many students with autism benefit from having a pet. The act of petting can be very calming, but it can also be sensory overload. Every kid is just so different! I wonder if a special stuffed animal might help? Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  2. My son is 14 months and loves our dog. He loves cuddling with her on her dog bed and she patiently plays “fetch” even though he can only throw the ball 10 feet. I think dogs add so much value to a child’s life! Happy birthday to your pup!

  3. I absolutely agree Brittany. We have two cats and one of them let’s my little one cuddle up with him and chase him around. She lights up whenever we get home and sees him! Happy birthday to your pup and thanks for sharing

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