As if mamahood is not exhausting enough, here we are suggesting that you add a furry member to the family! We know it sounds insane, but hear us out!
Adopting a dog or a cat for your kids can have a myriad of mental and physical benefits. Yes, we will be the first to admit that bringing in a pet adds more responsibility and is definitely more costly. However, the benefits are undeniable.
Adopting a pet will teach your kids many behaviours that are essential to healthy and productive adults such as;
Having a furry friend at home is a golden opportunity to teach your kids to take on more responsibility and see it through. Depending on their age, you might want to involve them in feeding their dog or cat, cleaning their feeding bowls, and brushing them. Explain to them the steps of taking care of their pet and involve them in age appropriate tasks. Maybe give them one task that is completely their responsibility to help them get that sense of achievement upon completion - with your supervision of course.
In this day and age, children are exposed to an insane amount of information every day. They are at risk of being overstimulated. Introducing a pet to your family can encourage them to ditch the screens and spend some mindful time playing or caring for their furry friend.
Whether it’s playing with the cats indoors, walking the dog, or playing fetch, the presence of a small active pet is guaranteed to get all family members to be more active. It can also be a wonderful opportunity for some family bonding time. Schedule dog walks or cat playtime as a family and make it a mindful screen-free time.
Kids are not patient by nature. Patience is a virtue that we all must learn. Involving your kids in training a dog is an excellent way to teach the dog while also helping your kids grow some crucial skills like patience, understanding, and clear communication. Win-win!
It is sometimes a kid’s first instinct to grab and pull and hug a pet even when they show no sign of interest. Taking the time to explain a pet’s needs to your child and teach them how and when to pet or hug their furry friend is crucial to cultivating that gentle and compassionate skill. They will also grow to be very compassionate to other animals and humans alike.
Kids (and adults) who spend time with pets have lower blood pressure and less chance of developing asthma or allergies. Petting and stroking a pet is also proven to reduce stress in kids and adults alike. Dogs also significantly improve the mental state of individuals who are struggling with depression and anxiety.
When given age appropriate tasks to help care for their pet, kids become more confident and generally have more self esteem and trust in their abilities. Experiencing the loyalty and unconditional love that a pet so generously gives can also boost your child’s self-esteem.
Have a best friend
A pet is a child’s best friend. Especially if they take part in picking a dog or cat from a shelter and prepping your home for welcoming them. They will always have a companion to watch over them and keep them entertained. Having a constant companion can be very comforting for kids. The bond between a pet and a child is like no other.
The Circle of Life
Most parents want to shield their kids from any tragic or harsh reality, but kids will sooner or later learn the cruelty and unfairness of life. Dealing with the sickness and loss of a pet teaches a child about the reality of the circle of life and can be paramount to learning to deal with loss and other challenging life experiences.
It’s important to remember that pets are a big responsibility and more so if you choose to adopt a dog. They’re adorable and so worth it, but still hard work. Spend some time assessing if your family is ready to add a furry member to the squad. Factor in the financial aspect as well as the amount of effort needed to keep your pets happy and healthy. Most importantly, make sure that all family members are on board and understand fully what having a pet entails.
Disclaimer: We, at Little Blessings, do not condone buying/selling animals. If you choose to bring a pet into your home, we urge you to please adopt. Shelters (and unfortunately, the streets) are full of animals looking for someone to care for them and love them. They will be eternally grateful if you choose to give them the home they so desperately need.