Pets and child development

Benefits of hanging out with pets

Having a pet is usually a childhood privilege. Whether it is a turtle or a goldfish, a dog, a cat or a parrot, children enjoy the company of animals. But did you know that pets are not only a source of warm, furry fun, but that they can also provide children with several very useful ways to help them develop? Children's mental, social, emotional and cognitive development can be aided by interaction with the family pet.

Physical activity - Walking a dog or running in the yard with it and throwing a ball are just some of the great ways for a child to move more. Fine motor activities can be encouraged by allowing the child to pour water and food into the dog's containers or by helping to care for the dog (such as brushing). Depending on the age of the child, parental supervision is recommended for the safety of the child and the pet.

Social benefits - Especially for children, pets are wonderful social moderators. Children will be more inclined to approach and interact with another child playing with a pet. In this way, a pet can be a bridge between a less socially open child and other children, potential participants in children's games.

The pet itself can also be a social object for children, due to the nature of their relationship. Considering that animals accept us as we are, pets give us little practice in the sphere of social relations. For children with developmental disabilities, a pet can be a connection to the outside world

The significance is obvious in cases where a child with mental difficulties after the dog arrives at home soon begins to notice not only him, cuddle him and play with him, but also begins to realize that outside of him there is a whole world worth exploring. The pet, the dog in this case, has become a catalyst for the child's understanding and acceptance of the world

Cognitive benefits - As children grow, they may develop a special interest in a particular type or species of animal. Encouraging children to read more about their favorite type of pet or to attend dressage classes with the parent and their pet can help the child's first spark of desire to learn. The child should also be taken to the veterinary office when you have routine pet examinations scheduled; in order to give the child the opportunity to inquire and take an interest in the health and care of his pet.

Pets as therapy - Due to the special connection that is formed between the child and the pet, pets sometimes take on the role of the one who comforts the child. Since no condemnation comes from the pet's perspective, an injured child can have more confidence in the pet than in any other person.

Bringing a pet into the family circle is a very serious decision. At first, this will be the responsibility of the parent, not the child, who will eventually take responsibility for the well-being of the pet. But once that connection is established, and the right pet for the family is found, the joys and benefits of a relationship with a pet will be there, for many years to come