5 Lessons Children Learn from Having a Pet
At some point, most children want a pet of their own. And they may be onto something — research suggests pets are beneficial to children in many ways. Animals, while cute and cuddly, can also teach children a number of important developmental lessons.
Pets can be a great way to teach children about responsibility, especially if children must care for their new furry friend themselves. Tasks such as feeding, walking and cleaning up after a pet, show children pets aren’t just fun, but also require consistent work.
Additionally, children often learn about the importance of pet health and the importance of vet visits when they have an animal, which can translate into some powerful lessons about their own health, too. It can be easier to teach a son or daughter about the importance of flossing and brushing their teeth, for example, if they have learned from a vet how important oral hygiene is for their canine best friend.
Having a pet is a long-term investment, so it gives children a chance to learn about taking on long-term responsibilities and sticking to a life-long commitment. Having a pet and taking care of them, doesn’t stop after the first few months. Children will learn that taking care of a pet takes a daily commitment to training it, loving it, and caring for it.
Owning a pet can teach children a very important lesson – sacrifice. A child will learn that owning a pet means that at times they will need to put their pet’s need above their own. For example, a child might need to wake up early before school to have enough time to take their pet outside or provide it with food and water. A child might also need to accompany their parents when taking a pet for lessons and learn to put in the time at home to teach their puppy how to sit and stay. Ultimately, a pet is dependent on their owner and a child will need to quickly learn that to keep a healthy pet, sometimes the pet comes first!
Children will learn to hold themselves and their pets accountable in certain circumstances. From keeping their pet healthy to cleaning up after them, there are things to do every day when they own a pet. Children will learn to hold themselves accountable for cleaning up after their animal or choosing a day once a week to clean their pet’s cage. Children can also learn to keep their pet accountable, through training them and not letting their pets get away with chewing up shoes or scratching the side of the couch.
Animals are active creatures, and they can do more to teach children about the value of play than just about anything. An active puppy can be a great motivator to step away from video games and start playing outside. For example, the Superior Play Systems® Original Fort High Roller becomes even more fun with a rambunctious puppy. Adding an optional ramp makes it easy to incorporate your pet into every day active play!
If you’ve been debating getting a new pet, remember the opportunity that your child will have to learn from the experience. From taking on responsibility to staying active, a pet can bring a lot of joy and development to your child. The bottom line is that pets are great for the emotional, social and physical development of your child and adding a pet to the family might just be a great idea!