By: Dr. Fiona Caldwell
Idaho Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance
April 26th is National Kids and Pets day! The special bond between a child and their pets is a pure and unconditional one. This day is designed to recognize and perpetuate the magical link between children and animals. Having dog or cat insurance is a wonderful way to protect the health of our beloved pets and ensure the special bond is also protected.
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Our future lies in our children’s hands, and by allowing them the experience of living with pets, we can help give them the skills necessary to make our world a kinder and better place to live.
Beyond Lassie and Timmy, kids have reaped the benefits of having relationships with animals for generations. Human development has been shown to be influenced by the presence of pets. Studies show significant correlations between and child-animal bond and that child’s social competency and ability to empathize.
Studies have shown that children in households with pets score higher in terms of ability to undertake responsibilities. Having a pet can make a shy child more outgoing by instilling social confidence. Learning disabled children might benefit from reading aloud to a pet and can achieve more academic success. Animals can also give children a sense of comfort and security, allowing them to grow into more confident adults.
In addition to emotional development, there have been noted health benefits to raising children with pets. It has been shown that kids raised in families with household pets suffer from fewer allergies, such as asthma, than children raised without pets.
While it seems as though kids and pets go together like peanut butter and jelly, there are some safety factors that should be considered prior to introducing a pet to your child’s home. Consider your child’s age and temperament prior to getting an animal, especially a dog. Dogs need to have special consideration due to their ability to potentially inflict harm by biting. Dogs don’t have the mental capacity to comprehend a moral code and will often act on instinct. Experts agree that children under school age should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how gentle the child’s or the dog’s temperament is.
National Kids and Pets day is a wonderful time to recognize the benefits of pet ownership for children. With good common sense, you can help improve your child’s health and development by fostering and nurturing the friendship between them and their animals.
For more information about pet health and behavior, or to learn more about pet health insurance, visit Pets Best Insurance.