April 26 marks Kids and Pets Day, a nod to the bond children and animals share and, hopefully, prompt adoption. While everyone can see what makes pets and kids so darn cute together, the true magic is happening on the inside. In honor of Kids and Pets Day, we wanted to share a few of the pawsitive impacts pets have on children.
• Responsibility. It’s inevitable that caring for a pet will give children a sense of responsibility and teach them to be kind, gentle, and empathetic.
• Self Esteem. Caring for a pet teaches children that what they’re doing truly matters and makes a difference in the life of something they love. As an added bonus, studies show that pets help children gain confidence in school by lending a non-judgmental ear to help practice reading aloud.
• Better Immune System. It’s been proven that children who grow up around pets are less likely to develop common allergies and a 2012 study showed that children who grew up with dogs were generally healthier in their first year of life. Of course, some kids are legitimately allergic to dogs/cats, so be aware of that before bringing a pet into your home.
• Less stress. Brushing, patting, petting, and bonding with an animal is proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress – and that goes for mom and dad too!
• Bonus Perk: Studies have shown that children with autism smile more and cope better when in the presence of a pet.
Always research the breed you’re considering to ensure they’re a fit with your family, but some breeds are notorious for being wonderful with kids like Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Labs, Wheaton Terriers, and Boxers, to name a few.