Why a Pet Can Be Your Childs Best Friend

Mum, Daughter, Cat, Dog in Grass

Like peas in a pod – there’s no getting away from it, children and pets go well together. You only have to look at a child cuddling his cat or dog to quickly see the strong bond that exists.

There is more to the relationship than meets the eye though, with the health and wellbeing benefits to children running a tad deeper than you might ever have imagined. According to experts, kids who keep pets are healthier and more emotionally balanced.

Walking, running and playing together, in some cases twice a day, is often enough to keep the heart pumping and the body in good order, but it’s the psychological benefits of pet ownership that are pretty interesting and impressive too. Many youngsters regard their pet as a friend who lifts their spirits when feeling sad.

Health psychologist Dr June McNicholas, of the University of Warwick, studied 338 children aged between three and 14. She found that 85% said they regarded their pets as friends and 40% would look for their pet if upset or bored.

Susan Dawson, a researcher in human communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, has also carried out numerous studies into the benefits of pets.

“From studies I have carried out backed up by case studies it becomes clear that pet ownership, or by simply having the chance to spend some time with pets, children can benefit a lot,” she said. “They learn nurturing skills and are rewarded for their efforts.”

“They are given unconditional warmth which can be reassuring and they actually seem more motivated to talk and describe their experiences.”

Some U.S. studies have suggested that children with pets actually fare better at school because it makes the youngsters more motivated.

So there you have it, Fido and Kitty not only help young ones banish the blues, they can help with their homework too.

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