So your kids want pets? They’re begging for a kitten to cuddle or a bunny to feed, but you’re not so sure because it’s a big commitment. Well, before you make your decision to bring pets into the family, check out the top ten reasons why having a pet is actually good for your children’s health and development.
- They reduce allergies
Research shows that children who grow up in homes with pets are likely to have stronger immune systems and less likely to develop childhood allergies and asthma. Research by health psychologist Dr June McNicholas from the University of Warwick and pharmaceutical company Novartis Animal Health tested the saliva of 138 children aged between four and 11 for IgA antibodies – an antibody found in the immune system which helps fight infection. The results showed that children who owned pets were able to ward off infections such as colds and flu better than children without pets, thus having fewer days missed from school.
- Teaches responsibility
Tasks such as walking the dog or cleaning the hutch teach children to be responsible, while giving them a sense of accomplishment. Caring for a pet also helps children develop empathy for others.
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