Did you ever think about the social benefits of kids owning pets? There are! Last time I wrote a blog post about moving with pets and if you have moved to a new area, I’d like to point out the benefits of having pets, especially for kids a new environment.
What is it about pets that make them so valuable? You see them in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. People seem to improve in health when pets are around.
Kids owning pets also offer benefits we haven’t really thought much about. Physically, they can improve their health by walking their dog and spending time playing outside. There are also socialization skills that can be learned from exposure to a pet.
So, what are the social benefits of kids owning pets?
- Conversation starter – It can be awkward making new friends. With a pet, there is something with which to ease into a conversation. Kids can break the ice by talking about your child’s new pet.
- A way to meet new people – People with pets are more likely to talk to each other. If you pass with a dog in the park, you will say hello and might even stop for a few words about your animals as they sniff each other out. This is a good social experience for kids of all ages.
- Companionship – For families with one child, having no siblings can hinder some social interaction. Having a pet offers companionship to your child. They have someone to confide in and talk to. Pets are quite sensitive to the attitudes and needs of their owners.
- Understand various forms of communication – Since animals can’t talk, it is up to the owners to learn to communicate with them. This can increase their understanding of non-verbal communication between people which can help them in all types of social situations.
- Gain self-confidence – Caring for something other than themselves can increase their belief in their own abilities. Self-confident kids are more productive in school and in social situations. Pets give unconditional love which bolsters a kid’s esteem.
- Reduce stress – Stress is not just an adult condition. Children experience stress as well. Owning a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. During test-taking time or social problems, a pet can ease any discomfort.
- Sounding board – This may sound funny, but you know, when you need to talk, your pet will be right there. They have unconditional love for their owners, reinforcing they care. And, pets don’t talk so they won’t reveal any secrets!
- Learning to play – Pets, especially dogs, have a real need for exercise. Kids can run, laugh, tumble and cuddle with their pet. Even if they are an only child, they can learn how to share and take turns by spending time with their pet.
Kids owning pets can help them socialize better, particularly from an earlier age.