The Positive Effect Pets Can Have On Children
Written by Elena Barnard | Monday, April 16, 2012
Cats and dogs do not have the capacity to judge someone based on connotations, prejudice or any other first impression that humans use when they meet someone. Young children are much the same; having not been tainted or learnt to judge someone without knowing them, they take people for who they are. This can be attributed to communicative skills that are less developed compared to older humans and it means that children and pets, particularly cats and dogs, can often become the best of friends.
Many children that are shy or not vocal will talk to their animal about their feelings, concerns and experiences as they feel that they understand them. Dogs and cats are seen as very good listeners by children and so can help parents of shy or reclusive boys and girls to better understand their child’s thoughts and emotions. There have been countless occasions where a parent has overheard their reclusive child talking freely and openly to their cat or dog about something that they would never talk to a human about. Not only does this help the child to feel better but it can also inadvertently teach them to interact, socialise and talk about their feelings more.
In addition to helping children emotionally, having a furry companion, more particularly a dog, can help children physically. Whilst it has been well documented that certain dogs are specially trained to help children with impaired senses, non-working dogs can also be of help to children. Simply taking their dog for a walk everyday will provide a child with a little more exercise that they may otherwise not be getting or, if they are already a highly active child, will give them a physical activity which is focussed and may actually calm them down a little.
It used to be believed that a high proportion of illnesses that children developed when young were as a result of having an animal around. However, with more and more research it is becoming increasingly apparent that having a cat or dog around a child from an early age can actually benefit them in terms of health. One such example is the belief that children who have grown up with an animal in close proximity will be immune to suffering from allergies later on in life.
With the right owner and environment, dogs and cats can be an excellent introduction to a family with young children; providing an extra member who more often than not will accept, bond with and love a child unconditionally.
For more animal-related information, visit our blog, article and guide pages. Insuring your pet gives you peace of mind that you and your pet will be covered if anything were to happen. Animal Friends offer a range of policies for dogs, cats and horses, and we also insure older pets.