By Farah Al-Khojai
As veterans in the pet nutrition industry, it’s not uncommon for us to speak to parents who may not be too keen on getting pets at home. Usually, it’s because they feel like they may end up doing most of the work. The little ones will get to have all the fun with the new furry family member but you will be in charge of poop cleanup and all the other tasks that come with pet ownership.
While you may be more focused on the hassles of owning a pet, you must also consider the many positive aspects of it. Countless scientific studies have already proven that letting children grow up with an animal family member presents a lot of advantages.
Unless you have a really busy lifestyle or you have ill family members who may be sensitive to dander, getting pets at home can be a really good decision. The little ones can benefit from the unique dynamics a dog, cat, bunny, or another animal can bring to your life.
1. It can teach them responsibility.
Although you are the parent, do not just resign yourself to the fact that you have to be in charge of the difficult aspects of owning a pet. Instead, use it as the perfect opportunity to cultivate your children’s sense of responsibility.
Share the caring tasks with the little ones and make sure they are always on top of these chores. Provide them clear instruction on how to feed Spot and even how to help when giving the dog a bath.
Likewise, make sure to bring your kids to all the scheduled trips to the vet or pet specialist. This way they can receive education on proper pet care and learn how important their contribution is in maintaining the pet’s health wellbeing.
When they learn to be responsible for the family pet, it will be easier to entrust them with other tasks.
2. It provides them with a loyal friendship.
Pets at home, particularly dogs, make great friends. They do not hold grudges and they are not judgmental. At times, even when kids are in a bad mood, the family pet does not mind that and still gives them attention and affection.
Some studies have even proven that dogs are experts at human communication. They can understand behavioral cues well and respond more appropriately than other intelligent beasts. This makes them great friends for the young and old alike.
3. It can make your children more physically active.
Taking care of pets at home is a physically demanding responsibility. If you find your children spending too much time on their gadgets instead of playing like healthy kids, you should have them take care of the furry member of the family.
Ask them to walk or play catch with the dog. This will be a great exercise for the kids as well as the canine.
4. It can improve the ability for non-verbal cueing.
You can create learning tasks that involve dogs. One fun activity parents can try for the little ones is encouraging them to read to the pets.
The little ones can also develop a solid grasp of cause and effect especially when you encourage them to train the dog to develop good habits using dog food or treats.
5. It can develop empathy.
Since pets do not have verbal skills, your children can learn from them how to understand feelings even when nothing is said. They can learn to pay closer attention to behavioural hints and determine feelings so they can modify their actions to fit situations.
These are not all. Different kinds of animals bring something unique so you can expect a bunch of other advantages depending on the pets the kids choose. One thing is for certain though, there will be more joy and love at home once you bring a pet into your family.
About the Author: Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.
Originally published at www.kidskintha.com