How can my child benefit from having a pet?
1. Social skills and self-esteem. Feelings and positive experiences with their pet can help children feel good about their own. Loving a pet can also help kids to love and trust other people.
2. Exercise. All pets need to exercise, and playing with their pet is a fun way to incorporate some physical activity to your kid’s lifestyle.
3. Responsibility and respect. To learn how to take care of their pet can help kids develop empathy, concern and responsibility towards other beings. On top of that, during the life cycle of the pet, parents have the opportunity to talk to their kids about birth, sickness and death.
4. Parent interaction. Kids and their parents can spend more time together playing and taking care of their pet.
How can my child help take care of the pet?
1. A small child can help out by feeding or providing fresh water to their pet (portions must be measured by you).
2. The child can help walking the pet, not alone of course, but just another time to spend together with your kid.
3. Children can help you in bathing and grooming the pet.
4. Assign to your child small, simple tasks that can be performed under your supervision.
How can I keep my child healthy and safe around a pet?
1. Choose your pets wisely, if you don’t already own a pet, study and learn from the different breeds and species, you will find that some are specially “kid friendly”.
2. Consider any allergies a family member could have, before acquiring a pet. Consult with your kid’s pediatrician about any allergies that may be present.
3. Take your pet to the veterinary to a general check up before you bring it home.
Author: Mariangie González