Pets and children-what an innocently beautiful relationship! A relationship that holds a long and interesting history, a bond that exists so strongly that it forms an indispensable part of the lives of thousands of children around the globe. Children in western countries usually keep pets as their companions, whereas; in eastern countries, keeping pets is less common.
Now the question arises, is it a good idea for parents to keep pets in a household with small children? Well, there are certain advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken account of before keeping a pet.
Advantages of getting a pet:
Children Become More Active
A general observation is that children who keep pets tend to be more active. They take responsibility and are mostly responsive in varied situations.
Life becomes more entertaining and enjoyable when you have a pet around you, as you tend to cuddle it, happily run after it, or get swayed into playful activities. Your day becomes more practical and fun.
By introducing a pet, you bring home a permanent companion for your child hence your child will never feel bored even if you are busy with other chores. Pets are entertainers; they can easily make your crying baby laugh, and more-so make your child forget about their tantrums and become involved with their pet.
Learn to Be Responsible
Chances are, your child will learn how to be more caring and responsible by feeding the pet on time, bathing it with love, and taking care of it when it falls ill. It will be a source of immense pleasure for you as a parent to see your child performing these tasks.
Great Health Benefits
There are certain health benefits that your pet may offer to your child. Children tend to understand the mood swings of their pets, hence they become emotionally more mature and understanding when their pets don’t behave the way they expect them to. Also, playing with pets exposes your child to the pet’s licking, which might help their immune system get stronger against many allergies. Running around or walking a pet makes your child agile.
A watchdog could be your safeguard as well as your playful companion. You will feel safe and secure in its presence.
Decrease in Stress Level
Pets can play a vital role in decreasing your child’s stress level when he comes back home after a stressful fight with a friend at school or some disturbing exam result. A comforting hug or a sweet kiss from the pet could be very helpful in alleviating stress and fighting back depression.
Disadvantages of getting a pet
Despite having a well-trained and domesticated pet, you cannot always trust your child with it, and you cannot expect him to behave like a real human being. Occasionally, animals may have a temper, especially when they are injured or hurt. Therefore, it is imperative that you take necessary measures so that your pet does not harm or bite your child.
Costs and Expenses
Keeping a pet is quite expensive; you need to devote your time regularly. Also, you have to feed it the food that is most adequate, healthy, and fresh so that your pet does not fall ill. When, unfortunately, it does, you have to provide it comfort and suitable medication. Purchasing vital grooming kits for pets, meals, and necessary accessories such as collars and leash can be very costly.
If someone at home is prone to allergic problems, you cannot keep pets without consulting the doctor and taking complete prior information. Parents’ medical history has to be taken to determine if children are prone to developing any allergies.
There are different breeds of animals, some could be dangerous for your child, so choosing a pet wisely is important in terms of safety.
You cannot solely depend upon your child for feeding, bathing, and taking care of a pet since children generally tend to lose interest in a mundane activity quite soon, so you as a parent might have to jump in to monitor food and medication of your pet.
In conclusion, the advantages of keeping a pet outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, it could be an interesting idea to keep a pet provided that you take the necessary precautions, keep your children’s safety a priority and groom your children how to take care of their companions compassionately.