Children & Pets

Clapping Baby        Puppy


"When you bring a dog into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage.  If you allow, the journey will teach you many things about life, about yourself and most of all, about love.  You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark."
~~Crystal Ward Kent~~


   Pets should be part of children’s lives.  Parental involvement, open discussion, and planning are usually necessary to help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone.  A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, gets invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way.  Careless treatment of animals is unhealthy for both the pet and the child involved.

Choosing an Appropriate Pet

   While all kinds of pets can bring children pleasure, it is important to choose a pet that is right for your family, your home, and your lifestyle – and one that your child can help care for.  Parents should be cautious about having aggressive animals as pets.  Remember, even trained and domesticated animals can be aggressive.

Caring for a Pet

          Taking care of a pet can help children develop social skills.  However, certain guidelines apply:

·         Since very young children (under the age of 3-4 years) do not have the maturity to control their aggressive and angry impulses, they should be monitored with pets.

·         Young children (under 10 years) are rarely able to care for a large animal on their own.

·         Parents must oversee the pet’s care even if they believe their child is old enough to care for a pet.

·         If children become lax in caring for a pet, parents may have to take over the responsibility on their own.

·         Children should be reminded in a gentle, not scolding way, that animals, like people, need food, water, and exercise.

·         Parents serve as role models.  Children learn responsible pet ownership by observing their parents’ behavior.

Advantages of Pet Ownership

   Children raised with pets benefit in a number of ways.  Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.  Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others.  A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion and empathy.  Pets can serve different purposes for children:

Other physical and emotional needs fulfilled by pet ownership include:



A Loving and Learning Friendship:
Pets and Children

   Many people are aware of the health benefits that come from having a pet, including lowering high blood pressure, preventing heart disease and combating depression.  However, what parents may not realize is that adding Spot or Dolly to a family can be advantageous to the other bundles of joy “scampering” around your home – your kids!

   While little children are too young to worry about preventing stress or lowering health care costs, there are numerous benefits they can experience from having a family pet.

   Pets Help Children Gain a Sense of Independence that can set them on the path to becoming mature, responsible adults.

   Pets Teach Kids To Be Responsible.  Children can learn the importance of responsibility at an early age by acting as a caretaker for a pet.  A pet can present an ideal opportunity for parent and child to bond while caring for the pet together.  Showing children what is means to be responsible for another creature’s survival can result in teaching important life lessons such as discipline, patience, kindness and attentiveness.

   Pets Can Help Kids Develop Discipline.  Walking the dog can serve as fun study breaks for kids, and a replacement for television programs and video games.  These pet-related activities help children remain focused on the task at hand.

   Pets Prepare Kids For Life Situations.  Bringing a pet home and into the family can be an effective way to help prepare children for real life scenarios.  For example, pets can ease the transition of suddenly having to share mom and dad’s attention with a new brother or sister by demonstrating how much fun new playmates can be.  They can teach them about caring for others.  Pets can also help kids learn to deal with medical issues and illnesses as they are exposed to routine veterinarian check-ups with their pet, and the treatments for various ailments.


English Setters are great with children!

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