Thank you to Amy Tokic of PetGuide.com for contributing this post. Check out their helpful site for more articles about caring for your pets.
Happy National Pet Day!
It’s true; pets get a day all to themselves. On April 11, 2014, dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, fish, horses, ferrets, rabbits, reptiles, and all pets big and small, are recognized for how awesome they really are.
We felt today was the perfect occasion to go over just a few of the benefits your family will reap when you add a pet to the mix. Here they are!
1. Teaching Responsibility: A lesson in responsibility has never been cuter. No matter how young your child is, it’s never too early to pick up some important rules about responsibility. Your child will feel a big boost of pride knowing it’s his job to fill the water and food dish to just the right proportions every morning. As children get older, duties and responsibilities can grow. They are an important part of the bonding and leadership role in the household, and establish order, compassion and love toward other living creatures.
2. Healthier Kids: Expect less sneezes and less allergies. Experts say that children who grow up with furry animals are less likely to develop common allergies. This is due to an earlier exposure to a number of bacteria that these pets carry. Not only that, but pets may also be some kind of sickness repellent… okay; maybe we wouldn’t go that far. A recent study found that children living with dogs boasted fewer respiratory problems and ear infections than those without canines, and were generally healthier during their first year of life. And let’s not forget the health benefits for all the parents out there. How awesome is it to come home after a stressful day of work to a happy pooch or kitty that just wants you to pet them? And it’s proven that petting, brushing or rubbing a furry belly helps reduce stress levels.
3. Shiny, Happy Family: Families with pets are happier. Let’s add up all the ways that pets make a family happy, shall we? We talked about how they reduced stress (Happy point: 1), they can ease loneliness when a child needs a friendly ear to talk to (happy point: 2), promote social interaction (happy point: 3), encourage exercise and playfulness (happy point: 4), and provide unconditional love and affection (happy point: 5). Dogs and cats are never critical and are always there to offer a sense of security when needed (happy points 6 and 7). The winner – families with pets!
4. BFFs: A pet is a best friend for life, automatically. The day they walk through the door, it’s a given. A dog, cat or hamster doesn’t care if you have the coolest sneakers on the playground or what band you’re into. They like your kids no matter what. They will keep your children’s secrets, lend a shoulder to cry on, or just be a buddy to hang out with any time you want.
5. Caring Kids: Children can be caregivers to animals – it’s the ideal opportunity to bring out their instinct to nurture. Sometimes, it’s easier to be kinder to an animal than a sibling (especially a bratty sister or brother!), and taking care of a pet can be seen as a gender-neutral responsibility.
The old adage is true: “The more, the merrier.” Add another member (or two) to your household by visiting an animal shelter – not only will you will be saving an animal’s life, but you’ll be doing the whole family a favor.
About Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic is the Editor of PetGuide.com and the proud pet parent of Oscar the Shih Tzu mix. Together, they like whipping up new recipes for other pet parents to try, chasing squirrels in the park and sleeping belly up in sunbeams that come in through the window in the mid-afternoon.
Photo credit: Andresr/Shutterstock