Perhaps to many people, having a pet is a simple childhood practice, an ordinary thing to keep a child busy when friends are away and school is out. But pets are not simply child companionship because pets can be a source of many things and the interaction between a pet and a child could lead to positive developments.
• An Activity Partner
Having a pet, a dog for example, helps a child become active. A dog encourages a child to walk, run, play and frolic in the sun or even dance in the rain keeping the child away from becoming inactive. Such activities help develop a child’s physical and motor skills.
• Encourages Good Social Behavior
A child is often encouraged to befriend another child with a pet whether that is a dog, a cat, a bird or rabbit. Pets encourage a typically shy child to become socially active and thus gain confidence and win many playmates and friends. Confidence could help a child become ready to eventually face a tougher adult world.
• Helps in Emotional Development
Having a pet enforces the responsibility taught by parents to a child through the love and care that has to be shown to the pet. The involved tasks of course may depend on what the child can or cannot do at a certain age but the positive emotional development that could be gained from the experience will last throughout the child’s existence.
• Promotes Desire for Knowledge
The interaction between child and pet promotes an inquisitive mind in a child leading him to ask questions. Like for instance when a child wants to know how to teach a dog some tricks, what food will do the pet good other than satisfying a hunger, etc. Parents naturally have a big part in supporting a curious child. The desire to learn could start due to the influence of pet ownership but when a child learns that parents are willing to support a need to discover things, the child could be encouraged to learn more beyond pets. This promotes cognitive skills.
Pets can be so much a part of a childhood, creating a special bond that is beneficial to the development of a youngster. A child who is in need of healing whether physical, mental or emotional will be nurtured by the experience of having a pet. However, the decision to have a pet should be backed by the right reasons because it does entail responsibilities which should not be taken care of by the child alone. The commitment has to be established among the family as a whole. But once the decision has been made and the commitment is there, the positive results of having a pet is beyond definition that is simply priceless. And you may even see that in many years through your child.