Pets for children: benefits and harms, what to choose?

Children of different ages often ask their parents to buy a pet. If adults still agree, the question arises of choosing a pet. So is it worth starting it, and if so, who? How to teach a child to care for a four-legged friend? We will try to answer these questions in our article.

Benefit and harm

The first thing parents think about is: what is more from the existence of a pet in the house – good or bad? Of course, there may be damaged furniture, a specific smell and wool on the floor and things, but at the same time animals are able to become true friends and create a unique atmosphere in the family. Their main merit is that they give joy and good mood to all households. In addition, their presence has a beneficial effect on the psyche of the child.

Among the advantages are the following. The child acquires a true friend in the face of a pet. He becomes more independent, which is facilitated by the need to care for a living being and responsibility for his life.

Pets are great for a child’s development. For example, with speech problems, it makes sense to have a talking parrot. The kid will teach him new words, and this will serve as a good workout.

Experts claim that a child who has a pet makes contact easier, communicates more actively with unfamiliar children and makes friends. Walking with a pet can attract the attention of others, who themselves will take the initiative to get to know each other. In addition, physical activity will increase significantly.

The kid will be able to actively explore the world around him by studying his animal. In addition, in some cases, pets help to cope with phobias. They are good for family relationships.

Child with a pet can’t call himself lonely. With him, he can share his experiences. This becomes an excellent way out during illness, when contact with others is limited. Psychologists recommend getting cats or dogs in families where parents do not have the opportunity to pay enough attention to children.

Doctors believe that the presence of pets is undesirable in families where there are pregnant women or newborn children. The fact is that they can become carriers of diseases, sometimes quite serious ones. However, not everyone is inclined to believe this statement, being sure that it is absolutely safe.

Parents should take into account that a child is unlikely to fully care for a four-legged family member. He can solemnly promise this, however, over time, part of the worries will nevertheless pass to adults. This is a more frequent cleaning of the apartment, a visit to the veterinarian, emergency situations. In addition, most often, pets need separate food that needs to be specially prepared or bought. Respectively, These are additional material costs, sometimes quite tangible.

List of animals

The animal will become a new member of the family, so its choice should be approached responsibly. Each has its own merits and demerits. You can consult with experts. We offer a list of the most popular.

  • Undoubtedly, the first place is dogs. They are good friends and great guards, but they require special care. We are talking about feeding, walking, bathing and training, and all this will have to be done not once, but daily, without regard to the weather and mood. However, it is the dog that can become a model of devotion and fidelity for a child.

  • Cats are next. They are a bit easier to care for than dogs, in part because they don’t require walking. Cats are quite suitable for keeping in an apartment. It should be borne in mind that care will also be needed. This is especially true for long-haired pets. Among the shortcomings can be noted a characteristic smell in the event that the cat was not castrated, wayward character and exceptional rancor.

  • Some people prefer to keep birds at home, and parakeets are the most common choice. Their peculiarity is that communication takes place mostly at a distance. Of course, you can stroke the bird, but it is unlikely that she will like it. She needs a clean cage, food, water and toys. Among the minuses of parrots, one can note the desire to constantly scatter food.

A bird released from a cage hardly comes back, in addition, it is quite possible that it will stain the furniture due to the lack of a toilet.

  • As for the fish then their main drawback is the difficulty in care. In addition, they cannot be petted. However, aquarium inhabitants are very beautiful, and watching them calms. Regular cleaning of the container will be required, which children usually take without enthusiasm.

  • You can consider keeping hamsters, mice or rats. Among the advantages can be noted their compactness, as well as the absence of difficulties in care. Hamsters may have a specific smell. Rats are mostly very smart and very tame, they can be let out for walks around the house. Such animals require food and drink, as well as cleaning the cage.

  • Children often ask their parents to give them decorative rabbit. This option is not the worst. The animal does not cause many problems, while it may have a specific smell, and also make quite a lot of noise at night.

  • Chinchillas very beautiful and unusual, but not tame. Mostly active at night. They scatter sand, gnaw on all things around, and can ruin the cage. They don’t like being touched.

Selection Tips

Before you get a pet in the apartment, you need to think about this moment properly. After all, if you choose it incorrectly, it will not bring pleasure to either adults or children. The main point to be guided by is the age of the child. Experts do not recommend purchasing pets for families whose children are less than 6 years old. Only older children will be able to understand that in their hands is a living creature that has its own needs, which feels pain and fear, and can also defend itself.

In the case when the baby is already old enough to be responsible for the appearance of the animal in the house, you can think about the choice. Hasty decisions are not correct. Also, you can’t choose an animal by coming to the pet store and grabbing the first one that comes across. This step should be measured and conscious. You should study information about various pets, as well as visit a pediatrician to exclude the possibility of allergic reactions.

Before choosing a pet, you need to assess the nature of the child, his age and gender, health characteristics. It is also very important to think about the possibilities of care and accommodation. Those species that are especially common are not always suitable, so in some cases you can stop at unexpected options.

Serious attention should be paid to organizational issues. The animal should be comfortable, and the conditions should allow it to be kept in the apartment or on the site.

At the age of 5-6 years, the child has priorities, he can already choose and argue which animal he would like to have. However, you still need to seriously talk with the child, explaining to him that a living being is different from a toy, he needs attention and care. At the senior preschool age, the baby is quite capable of taking a puppy or kitten outside under the supervision of adults, as well as feeding him on his own.

At the age of 8-10 years, you can stop your attention on rabbits and guinea pigs. The child becomes more mature and responsible, he will treat the pet more carefully and by chance does not injure the animal. At the age of 12, a child can be entrusted with the care of aquarium fish, turtles or snails. At the age of 14 or more, you can have any animal. Both a large dog and a thoroughbred cat, requiring careful care, are quite suitable.

Getting a pet in the house, you need to convince the child that his task is to make the pet happy and provide him with a comfortable life. Both a personal example and detailed heart-to-heart conversations will help.

Experts recommend whenever possible entrust the choice of the animal to the baby. However, without the help of parents is still not enough. Only they can explain that keeping not all animals is possible in each specific case, and sometimes one desire is not enough. You can refer to special literature, organize a joint reading of the encyclopedia. It must be remembered that we are talking about the realization of a child’s dream, so the participation of elders is very important.

How to teach a child to take care of a pet?

The main work in this direction falls, of course, on the shoulders of the parents. First of all, they must follow so that the baby does not lose interest in a pet. One way is to tell the child about how interesting the day was. For example, a dog could learn a new command, and a canary could sing songs. Accordingly, the child must understand that by refusing to spend time with a pet, he loses a lot. This often leads to renewed interest.

If there is such an opportunity, you can invite your baby’s friends to visit and come up with fun entertainment in which the animal will take a direct part. The more time they spend together, the closer they become.. You can come up with a fun game in which everyone will participate.

It is necessary to remind the child of the responsibility for our smaller brothers. It is worth clarifying for whom exactly the pet was bought, as well as the fact that the baby is already old enough to not only play, but also take care of him on his own. This is especially true in cases where the initiative to acquire the animal came from the child, and not from the parents. In this case, it is not a sin to even recall the promises that were made before the purchase.

In some cases, you can call for conscience. It is important to make it clear to the child that they must be responsible for their words.. In addition, during your absence, you can entrust the child with all the responsibilities for caring for a pet.

It is even worth making a list of activities, which will include feeding, cleaning, combing, exercising, etc.

It can be noted that the child is already an adult, independent and responsible, so the parents completely trust him. This will allow the baby to express himself, in addition, he will not disappoint adults and will try very hard. It will be necessary to talk with him after returning home, evaluate the work done, find out how the day was spent. It is also important to note that the pet has become attached to the smallest owner and needs it greatly.

All about the benefits and harms of pets, see the video below.