15 Remarkable Benefits of Kids Having Pets

Pets are an integral part of our lives. Pets are important in children's lives as they provide enjoyment and help children develop responsibilities transferable to adulthood.

Sometimes pet relationships are ranked higher than certain kinds of human relationships for comfort, esteem, support and confidence.

Some benefits of pet ownership have been identified in areas of child development, family harmony and even health.There are so many benefits that pets provide for kids!

It's easy for kids to get wrapped up in the idea of owning a new pet, but it's up to their parents to make sure the experience is a positive one and that the pets receive the care they need for their entire lives.

Kids tend to think of all the good, fun benefits of having a pet. Parents who are experienced, or even first-time pet owners, know there is a lot of patience, time and effort involved but that the payoff of sharing your home and life is the unconditional love a well-cared-for pet gives. It's well worth it.
For those parents who are not sure about bringing a pet into the family, here are several positive reasons you might not have thought of to bring a pet home for your kids:
  1. Children who grow up in homes with pets have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma. 
  2. Playing with dogs may help lower blood pressure and build the immune system. 
  3. Kids with pets get outside more—to go for walks, run and play—and enjoy all the associated health benefits. 
  4. Pet owners require fewer doctor's visits. 
  5. Emerging readers often feel more comfortable reading aloud to a pet. 
  6. Nurturing a pet is an acceptable way for boys to "parent play"—to practice being caregivers. 
  7. Feeding and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility. 
  8. Children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem. 
  9. Sharing the love and care of a family pet forges an additional common bond among siblings. 
  10. Cuddling a pet reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety. 
  11. Children with pets at home score significantly higher on empathy and pro–social scales than non–pet owners. 
  12. Children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and companionship to the children.
13. Many children with autism know the qualities they want in a dog. If parents could involve their kids in choosing dogs for their families, it may be more likely the children will have positive experiences with the animals when they are brought home.
14. Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, making them better equipped to overcome the challenges of their disorder. Playing and exercising with a dog can help a child with learning disorders stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by the learning disability.
15. Dogs can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the dog and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other. Kids who are emotionally attached to their pet are better able to build relationships with other people.
BONUS: Man's best friend can do a lot more than fetch and roll over. Research now suggests that dogs can actually help children learn to read.

For young kids, one of the big challenges in learning to read is the embarrassment of making mistakes. Reading to dogs provides a simple solution...a non-judgmental, comforting furry friend who "listens" and takes the pressure off a child as he stumbles.

Pets have proven to make great family companions, especially when the household includes children. Not only do most kids adore the furry faces of animals, but pets can offer a very loving form of companionship and have been shown to aid in child development.