Home Children & Parenting Pets and Children: The Pros and Cons of Having a Furry Friend

Pets and Children: The Pros and Cons of Having a Furry Friend

Zerxza.com may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page but we only feature brands or products we trust.

Readers' Picks

What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Child

The birth and arrival of your baby is surrounded by pastel colors, baby showers, decorating the nursery and gift registries. It’s a time of...

Bearded Dragon: An Ideal Pet for You and Your Family

Does your child have a natural proclivity for animals? Or, would you like to introduce a pet to your family but aren’t sure where...

10 Reasons Why You Lose Sex Drive After Having Children

Becoming a new mom means so much more than just giving birth to a new baby. Your entire life changes. You’ll experience countless joys...

Grounding Your Kids: The Right and Wrong Way to Discipline

It’s safe to say that you were grounded at least once in your childhood or adolescent years. It’s a form of discipline that most...

8 Fun Games That Help to Discipline Your Child

Communication is key in any good relationship, and we usually talk about it when it has to do with couples and other adult relationships....

Apartment Life With Kids: How to Manage It Without Going Crazy

As much as you love your kids, they’re going to drive you crazy. It’s inevitable. And most people can take a much-needed break by...

Are your children asking for their very own puppy or kitten? A family pet can be a wonderful addition to your home. The idea is heartwarming and it’s easy to imagine the fun, family time spent with your new pet.

And while pets provide many benefits to your children, there are also some cons to consider. So, before you bring home any animals, read this to decide if you and your child are ready for a pet.

Why Your Child Should Have a Pet

Have you noticed that your child is naturally drawn to animals? For some children, they’re absolutely magical. If that’s the case for your child, having a pet can support their growth and development.

Subscribe & Save 20% On 20 Smoothies At SmoothieBox.com, no coupon needed!

Perhaps pets are new for your child, but maybe you grew up with them and are very comfortable around animals.

This is something you can pass onto and teach to your child. Here are seven reasons why your child should have a pet.

1. Children with Pets are More Active

Now, if you have a bird or reptile, your child probably won’t be much more active. But if you have a cat or dog, your child has many more opportunities to play, walk and even run with his or her pet.

Not only will your child move more, but they’ll also engage in healthy playtime, which is always a much-needed break from screen time and technology.

SaleBestseller No. 1
The Perfect Pet
Katherine Tegen Books; Palatini, Margie (Author); English (Publication Language); 32 Pages - 01/27/2009 (Publication Date) - Katherine Tegen Books (Publisher)
−$3.00 $4.99
Bestseller No. 2
Little Kids First Big Book of Pets (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)
Hardcover Book; Hughes, Catherine D. (Author); English (Publication Language); 128 Pages - 07/09/2019 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)
$14.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet (The Invisible String)
Hardcover Book; Karst, Patrice (Author); English (Publication Language)
−$3.60 $14.39

2. Children with Pets Are Less Likely to Become Overweight or Obese

When it comes to dogs, children are encouraged to get up and get moving. And according to research at the Deakin University Melbourne, children have a 50% less chance of becoming overweight and obese.

It’s safe to say that having an active pet can lead to a healthier lifestyle for your child.

3. Children with Pets Learn How to Be Responsible

Now, it’s important to remember that if your child is under the age of 10, he or she might not be able to handle the full responsibility of a pet. It all depends on their maturity level. However, you can give them simple tasks and chores so that they can become the pet’s part-time caretaker, too.

Simple activities like feeding, grooming, walking, and cleaning are all do-able for children. Keeping a reward chart in their bedroom or on the refrigerator can help to keep children accountable, on track and motivated to be responsible pet owners.

These accomplishments are something they’ll be very proud of, too.

4. Children with Pets Have Strong Immune Systems

According to studies from the University of Warwick, England, children who have pets could be less susceptible to colds and infections.

Children who play with dirt come into contact with beneficial bacteria that increases the body’s immunity. Similarly, children with pets can also boost their body’s natural defense mechanisms.

5. Children with Pets Develop Empathy

Animals are sentient beings and they can teach your child a thing or two about empathy. By spending time with the family pet, your child can observe animal behavior and feelings, and learn to respond with compassion and love.

6. Children with Pets Learn to Love and to Be Unselfish

Not only do pets teach children how to be empathetic, but they also help children love unconditionally. A pet may or may not be able to express their affection, and a child may be called on to show love even if they don’t receive it in return.

Other times, your child may have to take a break from playing their favorite game to take care of the family’s dog or cat. This teaches children to place the needs of others before their own.

7. Children with Pets Have Lower Stress Levels

If space and cleanliness permits, it’s a good idea to let your child and pet sleep in the same room, or even the same bed. It helps to reduce a child’s stress levels by increasing the levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin.

Why Your Child Shouldn’t Have Pets

Having a pet can benefit your child’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being. However, as a responsible parent, it’s important to consider some of the cons, too. Here are five common drawbacks to having a pet for your child.

1. Are You Ready for Another Child?

Even if your child loves the new pet like crazy, most of the responsibility will fall on your shoulders. Are you ready for this? It’s important to think about the demands of work, family and everything else before adding a pet to the mix.

Having enough time and energy for the new pet is crucial for their wellbeing. Will they be cooped up inside your home all day? Do you travel a lot? Could your child lose interest quickly?

2. Can You Afford a Pet?

Pets might not need a new school outfit every few months, but in order to have a good life, it’s important that you invest financially in them.

Some of the pet costs include veterinary appointments, food, supplies, fencing (if necessary), grooming and even daycare.

3. Are Your Children Capable of Pet Responsibility?

You can’t expect your child to take care of the pet on his own, but can you expect any help? Depending on the pet, as well as your child’s maturity and developmental level, he or she might not be ready to care for it.

SaleBestseller No. 1
The Perfect Pet
Katherine Tegen Books; Palatini, Margie (Author); English (Publication Language); 32 Pages - 01/27/2009 (Publication Date) - Katherine Tegen Books (Publisher)
−$3.00 $4.99
Bestseller No. 2
Little Kids First Big Book of Pets (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)
Hardcover Book; Hughes, Catherine D. (Author); English (Publication Language); 128 Pages - 07/09/2019 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Kids (Publisher)
$14.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet (The Invisible String)
Hardcover Book; Karst, Patrice (Author); English (Publication Language)
−$3.60 $14.39

4. Allergy Concerns

Your child may already show sensitivities to foods, plants, dust and/or mold. If you suspect that he or she might also have an allergy to animal fur or dander, try to rule that out before introducing a pet to your home.

Otherwise, they may have to part with the new pet and that can cause a lot of tears.

5. Ticks and Fleas

If you have a dog or cat, the chances of them carrying ticks and/or fleas into your home are pretty high. This can be difficult for everyone involved and if you’re not prepared to deal with that, you might want to avoid certain pets altogether.

Letting your child grow up with his or her own pet is a wonderful way to teach many invaluable lessons to them. But before they start learning, ask yourself if the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to having a pet for your children.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

Latest at Zerxza

8 Powerful Winter Skincare Products for a Revitalized Skin

Wintertime is a real hazard on your skin. Cold wind and harsh temperatures do a number on you,...

Are Your Friends Stopping You From Making Better Financial Decisions?

You should definitely buy that handbag, it’s meant for you… Hey, come out with us tonight!

4 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Germs

Teaching kids about disease prevention and hygiene is always important, but even more so during the pandemic. The concept...

How Women Can Help Their Partner Express Their Issues About ED

He's starting to have sex with you, he's aroused, he's ready... But he looks down and realizes he can't keep the erection...

13 Essential Winter Preparations for Your Home

Winter will be here before you know it. And while we’re all focused on filling our closets with cozy sweaters, warm parkas, and waterproof...

Lingerie Hygiene: How to Take Care of Your Lingerie the Right Way

There’s something extra special about buying a new bra or a sexy pair of panties. Once you start wearing them though, they lose that new...

What I Learned from Living in a Tiny Portuguese Village

Portugal has become somewhat of an expat paradise for many people, especially those who are already living in the European Union and hence, could...

Related Articles