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Are you raising children with pets in the home? If you are, you know there are some crazy moments! You may get a new puppy and think “what did I do?! I feel like we have another baby in the house!” Or you may be struggling with the need to clean up after and take care of yet another living creature in your world.
But then there are the wonderful moments of play, funny antics, and cuddles that make it all worth the effort. I’ve made a list of 7 benefits of raising children with pets that you might find interesting (later in this post).
For me, the benefits of raising my daughter with a pet in the home far outweigh the challenges. Our little dog, Scarlet, is like a furry sister to our daughter. My girl learns so much from her interactions with Scarlet.
We adopted Scarlet as a puppy two years before my daughter came along. Scarlet has been a challenge from the beginning! She struggles with anxiety issues that we are constantly working with her to overcome. A few years ago we moved to a new house, which for some reason was not a good place for little Scarlet. She had a very tough time for the entire year and a half that we lived there. Often she would even be unwilling to eat. We worked with a vet to find solutions for our dear little dog. One of the best things for her is to get her out on a little excursion with the family to play.
Recently we visited a new park in our area to let Scarlet explore. This also gives us a great excuse to get outside together as a family!
She spotted the lake and geese right away!
In her little mind she was working through her fear of water vs. her desire to meet a goose…
I was just enjoying the pretty scenery…
Here is a small, wet, happy dog! She never got near the geese, but she did voluntarily play in the water.
Another tool that I use for Scarlet is actually food. When she is showing signs of anxiety, one of my first clues is that she stops eating. Feeding her some good quality wet food is important because it’s the one thing I know she will never turn down!
We are using Purina® Beyond® grain free pet food and treats, which I’m really happy with. It was easy to find at Meijer in the pet food section. Plus, From June 7- June 23, 2015 Meijer ‘mPerks’ shoppers will be able to take advantage of special savings on Purina Beyond products:
- Save $1 on any bag of Beyond Dog Treats
- Save $2 on any bag Beyond Dry Dog
- Save $2 on any bag Beyond Dry Cat
- Buy 2 Beyond Purees Save $2
- Buy 2 Beyond Wet Dog 13 oz and Save $2
- Buy 4 Beyond wet cat 3 oz and Save $1
As much work as it takes to keep Scarlet happy and healthy, she gives a lot back to us that I don’t think we focus on often enough. I love seeing the bond between her and her human “sister.”
Plus, she’s kind of cute! Her one silly little ear that sticks straight up is so unique!
Do you have pets in your home? It’s really an important thing to do for your children if you can.
Here are 7 benefits for your child when you raise them with pets in the home:
Studies show that children raised with pets have higher self esteem. This is likely due to the consistent and dependable companionship that the pet offers combined with the sense of responsibility that the child feels toward the animal.
There is nothing like the company of a furry friend to bring a child comfort when they’re scared, sad, or nervous.
It is important to help children develop a strong sense of compassion and empathy for others. Pets are so helpful in this endeavor.
Pets need to be walked and played with regularly. Activities like playing fetch, going for a walk/run, tug-of-war, and others are wonderful ways to help children get more exercise.
A child can actually learn important social interaction skills by playing with and taking care of their pets. Dogs in particular are great at communicating and listening.
Children become attached to their pets and may find a special interest in certain breeds. The desire to learn more about their pets, breed, and animals in general is wonderful for developing cognitive skills. Take your children along to veterinarian appointments when possible, talk with them about what makes their pet special and unique, and help them find books about animals at the library.
From an early age, children can learn responsibility by taking care of their pets. First they learn to be gentle when they’re little kids. Then as they grow up, kids begin to learn how to care for their pet by feeding them, protecting them, playing with them, and giving them opportunities for physical activity.
Plus plenty of opportunities for silliness!
And they’re cute… even when they’re wet from chasing geese in lakes!
Have a happy day!