Over the last couple of years, pet ownership has increased in the UK, but if you haven’t yet taken the plunge and you have pressure from the kids to add a furry friend to your family, here are some of the benefits of having a pet.
Can help teach children responsibility
Whether it is a dog, a hamster or even a couple of goldfish, having a pet is a great way of teaching kids a lot of important life skills. Not only do they learn practical skills, like having to clean out a cage or feed them on time but it will also develop their empathy and nurturing skills, which are vital for their development.
Great for children with learning difficulties
Kids with autism or other learning difficulties can find themselves feeling isolated or misunderstood. Some struggle to talk to their peers and for these kids, having pets is great. Animals are easy to connect with and talk to, even for those that find talking difficult and they provide amazing companionship. For some pets, even those that haven’t been specially trained, can provide emotional support for those who have additional needs.
Can improve your immune system
This is true, on the one hand, having a pet lowers your stress levels, which in turn helps with a much healthier lifestyle, while on the other, having pets that spend time outside means that you are exposed to more germs which will make your immune system stronger over time. According to some studies, owning a pet has even proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which also help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Can offer protection
Not everyone likes the idea of being home alone, even having a cat around can make you feel a lot safer purely because you aren’t on your own. Having a dog or even a parrot can make your home feel much more secure.
Can stop the development of allergies
Of course, this won’t be true for everyone, but exposing your children to allergies early on can stop them from developing certain allergies. Of course, if you or any older children are already suffering, avoid anything that has dander!
You’ll never be lonely
If you or your children spend a lot of time alone, having a pet will really help combat loneliness. Even a tank of fish will swim over to say hello to you when you enter a room! If you work shifts and the kids get home before you, it’ll be an added assurance that there will be someone there to greet them and keep them out of trouble while you’re out.
Convinced? Well, don’t forget having a pet is a big responsibility, you will need to feed them, keep them warm, clean and healthy, have them insured and be prepared for potential vet bills. All of that is worth it though of course!