by Mehr Nomani
Our son got his first kitty when he was just 8 months old. It was expected as I have always been an avid cat lover. My parents grew up with cats and so did I. I knew the joy of having a non human friend and I definitely did not want my son to miss out on it.
It might have been his feline-adoring genes, but as soon as he met his little friend he was head over heels in love with it. He spent his days crawling about, chasing the furry fellow. It was such a heart warming sight watching him bond with an animal, learning so much while playing.
Pets act as little exercise buddys. Kids love to run around and chase animals. This helps discourage sedentary lifestyle and greatly reduces the risk of childhood obesity.
Pets also help kids learn to be more caring and responsible. They also teach them healthy compromise in life. This is because an animal would not always do exactly as the child wants. According to Maggie O’Haire from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and Centre for Companion Animal Health, “Once a child considers an animal’s point of view, they tend to change their behaviour … These lessons often translate to better communication with the people in a child’s life. Learning to communicate with a non-verbal other is also a great lesson in patience.”
Moreover, kids with pets are less likely to catch colds and infection, according to research from the University of Warwick. An antibody that is an indicator for the strength of immune system was tested in the saliva of 138 children. It was found that the levels in children with pets were significantly more stable. The group also averaged 9 less sick days off school every year. It is also reported that kids exposed to cats and dogs in the first year of life are less likely to develop sensitivity from allergens and also asthma.
Having a play mate around also means you get to have more free time at your hand. While the kid is busy playing playing with the pet you can get your own things done.
However, there are also some precautions you need to know.
If your child has an allergy or you have a history of allergies in the family, it wise to not keep a pet.
Also its very important to keep kids away from the pet’s litter box. If your pet is injured, sick or has an exposed wound its better to not let the kids near the pet until it recovers fully.
Further more its important to get your pet vaccinated and take care of its hygiene by keeping it indoors and giving it a bath every once in a while. Children should be taught to sanitize or wash their hands once they are done playing with their furry friend.
Finally, here’s a useful link reagrding pets and children: https://m.kidsvt.com/vermont/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-having-a-family-pet/Content?oid=2168566