How is having a pet beneficial for children

Nobody can deny that when children live with a dog or cat they feel much better and are more sensitive. The coexistence between animals and children is very positive, since both grow better, even when the animal is already old. 

When to take a pet into the house?

First of all we have to talk about the ideal time to introduce an animal into a house where children already live, if there is not one already. It should be known that up to the age of three , the little ones do not recognize the difference between a living being and a toy, even if the former moves independently.

This does not mean that coexistence between animals and children will not be positive before the age of three, but that we must pay close attention to their relationships and their interactions. After turning four, children will establish a real relationship with the pet – at this time they will become best and inseparable friends.

For this reason, it is advisable to take a pet after the birth of the child,  so that the little one has already entered the phase in which it recognizes living beings and has already made its first pranks and learnings.

But what if we already have an animal in the house before the baby is born? In this case, it will all depend on the personality of the animal, its age and its relationship with the owners. Many dogs or cats are jealous of babies because they feel left out. To avoid this, we need to involve them in family games and activities.

Benefits of living together between animals and children

Below we present the advantages that arise from coexistence between animals and children. They will manifest themselves from the first moments of knowledge:

1. Promotes development

The company of a dog or cat during their first years of life makes children more calm and self-confident . Moreover, thanks to the animal, the little ones suffer less from stress, do more movement and are happier.

2. It reduces diseases

Although many parents fear for their children’s health, contact with the pet is actually the best way for children to develop and strengthen their immune defenses .

If a young child is exposed to certain viruses and bacteria from animals, his body is forced to produce antibodies to fight them. The presence of dog or cat hair on the floor is also positive, as, according to a recent discovery, it reduces the possibility that the child will suffer from allergies in the future by up to 50%.

Of course, it’s not all “roses and flowers”, since there are some diseases transmitted by animals that the little ones cannot overcome, such as parasites or diseases caused by certain fungi. To avoid contagion, the animal must be vaccinated and dewormed .

3. You know your first friend

This is especially good when the baby is an only child, as the animal becomes his first best friend. Together with him she makes any mischief, shares toys and games and looks after each other. There is no more efficient babysitter than a dog sitting next to a child , because it will prevent him from falling, it will make him laugh and together they will spend wonderful hours.

4. The child learns to take on some responsibilities

This point concerns slightly older children, starting at the age of six, who begin to understand that animals are living beings like us and have feelings. It is the ideal time to make certain indications and help parents to take care of the animal. Some of the tasks that help children be responsible are:

  • Feed him or drink.
  • Take him for a walk.
  • Make him the bathroom .
  • Tidy up their toys or personal items.
  • Look after him when I’m in the car.
  • Remove his feces from the garden.
  • Offer him a treat when he behaves well.
  • Teach him a new command.

5. Improve empathy

For children, a dog or cat can be an excellent therapist, especially if they have an ailment. Children with a pet are more sociable, interact better with their peers, are less aggressive and know how to communicate .