Children and pets are perfect match. Studies show that children raised with pets show many benefits. Pets teach life lessons that stay into adulthood and have a monumental impact in a child’s development. The experts at North Shore Animal League America would like to express just how beneficial pets can be for children; and how it is never too late to invite a pet into your life.
The Benefits of Children Owning a Pet
- Caring for a pet can improve a child’s social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem
- Learning how to positively treat a pet is likely to lead to treating people kindly and respectfully
- Caring for a pet helps children to develop compassion, empathy and non-verbal communication skills
- Pets serve as an expressive outlet for children and act as their most trusted confidants
- Pets teach life lessons such as love, loyalty, trust, affection, patience, responsibility, respect for nature and living things, illness and death
- Pets provide a great source of physical and mental activity
- Pets provide wonderful company for children that do not have siblings
Things to Remember
- Children under the age of 10 should not be left unattended with a pet
- Parents make the best role models and children will learn by observing their behavior
- It is important for parents to make sure that their children are properly caring for their pets
- Pet ownership is ultimately the responsibility of the adult – not the child
To learn more about how pets positively affect children, visit Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, a revolutionary, national humane education initiative that helps kids develop strong social and emotional skills, making them more resilient, more capable and more compassionate. This curriculum, developed in collaboration with Yale University’s School of the 21st Century (an innovative community-based education model) and the Animal League’s development arm, The Pet Savers Foundation.