There are many reasons why you should get a pet for your family. Pets can teach your kids valuable life lessons such as empathy, patience, respect, responsibility, and trust. It’s a symbiotic relationship because pets will also benefit from the attention and care they get from your kids. For instance, they will enjoy playing time and cuddles during bedtime.
When getting a pet for your family, discuss the permanency and responsibility of owning a pet. When the pet stops being a kitten or puppy, will they still want to care for it? It’s vital that you discuss these responsibilities with them beforehand and help them see the benefits of having a pet. Remember that regardless of the commitment you see towards the pet from your family, you will need to consider yourself as a backup to provide care if things go wrong.
Pets need care in the form of love and pet care supplies such as food. Depending on the pet you get for your family, some of them need extra care in the form of visits to a pet health clinic or veterinarians. That said, let’s look at 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family.
Pets Can Boost Home Safety
Home safety is the number one pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family. For instance, if you have a dog as a pet, it can alert you to possible suspicious activity or strangers outside your home. You can also research beforehand and choose a dog breed that can alert, guard, and watch over your home at night and when you’re not around.
One of the best things about a pet dog is its heightened senses. A dog can smell and hear an oncoming person before seeing them. According to studies, K9 dogs have a sense of smell over 10,000 times stronger than humans. This means your pet dog can smell someone from very far away and help to keep you safe.
Also, your dog can detect a fire or gas leak in your home thanks to its sense of smell. If there is a gas leak, your dog might start barking and help you leave the house before things become tense. A pet’s loyalty to its owner or owners also adds a new dimension to home safety. You know your pet better than anyone, which means you understand its behavior so you can tell when something is wrong depending on how they respond in certain instances.
Pets Can Help Ease Anxiety
The second pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is helping with anxiety. Researchers have found that when a child has trauma and has a pet companion such as a dog or a cat, it can help make sharing their experiences easier. Therefore, if a family member suffers from anxiety, you may find that being around a pet, even one that’s not their own, can help to reduce their anxiety levels significantly.
Holding a pet or stroking its fur, in the case of a dog or cat, has an overwhelmingly calming effect on people. As a result, there has been a growing movement of people using pets as emotional companions. According to one physician, pet ownership has a positive effect on mental health conditions such as anxiety, autism, and PTSD. Also, people with conditions such as chronic pain and seizures have reported significant benefits from owning pets.
Pets Can Keep Your Kids Healthy
The third pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is keeping your kids healthy. This might seem counteractive when it comes to pets, such as cats and dogs, which have fur that can trigger allergic reactions, but there is evidence to prove that exposure to pets can help protect your family members from some illnesses.
According to one study by pediatrician Dennis Ownby of the Medical College of Georgia, exposure to multiple pets can decrease the risk of a child developing specific allergies. His findings stem from research drawn from over 450 kids.
He found that kids exposed to two or more cats or dogs as babies were less likely to develop common allergies compared to kids who didn’t have pets at home. Kids who grew up in homes with pets had less positive skin tests for in-house allergens such as dust-mite and pet allergens and external allergens such as grass. Other studies by other physicians have claimed that early exposure to pets can decrease a child’s risk of developing asthma.
No one knows why exposure to pets can keep kids healthy. Still, Dr. Ownby says that since pets love licking kids, these licks transfer bacteria into the kid’s mouth, and exposure to these bacteria can alter how your kid’s immune system responds to allergens. This means your kid won’t be in and out of health care agencies all the time due to allergies.
Although pet bacteria can be helpful to your kids, if you have pets such as dogs and cats, they contain other elements that can be harmful to your kids, so it’s vital that you administer pet vaccines to your dog and conduct pest control in your home to keep your kids safe.
Pets Can Promote Nurturing in Kids
The fourth pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is promoting a sense of nurturing. It feels good to reciprocate the love pets give, and most pet owners enjoy nurturing and spoiling their pets. If you don’t have kids but are considering them someday, adding a pet to your family can provide you with some needed practice in caring for a dependent.
If you have kids, a pet can be an exceptional addition to your family, and you might even be surprised by how quickly kids and pets become friends. For instance, if you have a dog, your kids will enjoy pampering them with dog bites and rubbing their bellies. A dog also allows your kids to learn about responsibility because they need to care for them.
One physician began studying the impact of pets in people’s lives to learn how humans develop the ability to care for others. The doctor found that nurturing isn’t a quality that abruptly appears in adulthood when needed, and humans don’t learn to nurture because someone did this when they were young. Instead, humans need to practice being caregivers early.
In the current world, there is little opportunity for kids to provide care to other things apart from pets. In some countries, siblings look after one another, but in countries such as the United States, it’s illegal to leave kids in the care of a person aged 15 and under. So how can you develop good parenting skills in countries like the US? The only way is through pets.
One study based on 24 hours found that kids with pets spend an average of 10 minutes caring for their pets and about 3 minutes caring for their siblings. This means no need to leave your pet dog in a doggie Daycare; you can leave them with your kids. The study goes on to note that nurturing pets is especially handy for boys because, by the time girls are eight years old, they are more likely to be involved in baby care than boys. But when it comes to pet care, both boys and girls are equally involved.
Pets Can Reduce Stress and Loneliness
The fifth pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is reducing stress and loneliness. Life can be stressful for your children, especially in their teen years. This stems from their academics, friendship struggles, and pressures to succeed. However, a pet can help relieve their stress. Apart from the love and companionship pets offer, several physiological changes happen in kids when they play with pets. Interacting with pets has been proven to lower cortisol, the stress hormone, and boost levels of other hormones, dopamine, and oxytocin.
On the other hand, having a pet can also alleviate loneliness, particularly for kids who struggle to establish bonds or don’t have many kind neighbors. Pets become confidants to lonely kids since they don’t have anyone else to talk to. In fact, it’s common to find kids sharing their secrets or conversing with their pets.
Pets Help Build Empathy and Compassion
The sixth pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is building empathy and compassion. Pets are very dependent and need someone to take care of them. For instance, they cannot refill their water or make their food. They even depend on humans in case of tragedies, for instance, taking them to emergency pet hospitals.
This dependence can spark empathy and compassion in your kids. It helps them learn to be considerate of others, even if that someone is a pet. So you can use a pet to teach your kids the importance of showing respect to various forms of life.
Your kids can talk about how their pets feel when they’re forgotten or when they feel hungry. Getting your kids to pause and think about other forms of life is the first step to establishing empathy and compassion in your kids.
One study of young adults in the United States shows that those who had been involved in caring for pets were more inclined to help their friends in times of need.
Another study on child development concluded that pet companions could help kids learn how to express and comprehend nonverbal cues and decipher intentions, improving their expressions and emotional understanding. Basically, since pets can’t talk, your kids will have to pay close attention to what they’re trying to communicate. As a result, they learn to pay attention to other forms of life, such as human beings.
Pets Make It Easy to Meet New People
The seventh pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is making it easy to meet new people. Pets such as dogs are not afraid to interact with strangers. This can be a benefit to you and your children, especially if starting conversions isn’t one of your strong suits. Being outside with your pet helps you meet new people, especially those who love animals. Even if your pet isn’t around, they can still help you relate to others because the topic of pets is a universal language that most people use and are comfortable discussing with others.
The number of pet-friendly apartments, parks, and restaurants continues to grow by the day, so if you have a pet, you can move around with them and enjoy meeting new people.
Pets Offer Unconditional Love and Companionship
The final pick for 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family is unconditional love and companionship. Pets will love you and your family unconditionally. There is nothing better than to leave work or school and come home to find someone excited to see you.
You can’t put a price tag on the companionship offered by pets. You can snuggle with your pet, cuddle with them on your couch or take them on car rides, albeit you might need to do some pest management because pests are common among pets.
Pet owners have also repeatedly noted that with their pets around, they can block out anything that depresses or stress them. Apart from unconditional love and companionship, pets can teach you and your family members valuable lessons in patience and understanding.
To sum it all up, these are our 8 top reasons to get a pet for your family. Not only does your family get a trustworthy friend, but they also get numerous other benefits. So if you don’t already have a pet at home, this is a sign for you to get one.