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Kitties and Puppies and Fishies, Oh My!

Kitties Puppies and Fishies
Pet ownership has positive effects on children. Children who are raised with pets develop empathy, responsibility, compassion, and more.

Kitties Puppies and Fishies

Humans love their pets. The average amount that pet owners in the U.S. spend on their fuzzy friends each year has doubled to $38 billion over the past ten years, dwarfing the toy industry’s $23 billion annual haul. Dogs continue to top the list as America’s favorite pet, followed by cats, fish, and birds.

Pet ownership has positive effects on children. According to Gail F. Melson, PhD, four in 10 children begin life in a household that already has a pet. Up to 90 percent of all children live with a pet sometime during childhood, and numerous studies highlight the benefits of pet ownership on childhood development.

Consider the following:

  • Children who are raised with pets develop such important values as empathy, responsibility, and compassion.
  • Children who live with pets demonstrate higher levels of cooperation and sharing than those who do not.
  • Pets can help children’s self-esteem, thanks to the pet’s loyalty and devotion. Struggling learners can especially reap these benefits because of the nonjudgmental nature of pets.

Beyond the social benefits, exposure to pets helps stimulate stronger immune systems in children. The medical journal Pediatrics reports that children who are exposed to pets in the first year of life have 31 percent fewer respiratory infections and 44 percent fewer ear infections than children who live in a pet-free home.

Pets can help build family bonds, but parents should be cautious when choosing a pet. Some children are allergic to certain animals (although only medical tests can determine if it’s a true allergy), and some pets’ temperaments aren’t suited to families’ needs. Thorough research of potential pets can help ensure that a pet will be a welcome addition to the family.

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  • Maria p

    A month ago my husband got my daughter a puppy and her attitude changed, in a good way. She is showing more affection and is so sweet with him, he was what our family was missing 🙂

  • pixystik4u

    all very good reasons for kids to have pets!

  • Mitzi Fisher

    I have always had pets. I think it’s very important for children to have pets. Pets give us unconditional love.

  • Becky Gall Hardin

    cute post!! we love our pets…part of the family 🙂

  • Shannon

    I have always had pets and I love them more than people. I think people with pets have more compassion.

  • Sandy VanHoey

    We have two dogs and the grandkids love them. They watch over the kids all the time. I really enjoyed this articles . Love our dogs

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