How Pets Help Kids
Did you know that kids with pets tend to have stronger immune systems and fewer allergies than those without furry friends? As it turns out, all that dust and dander is actually good for children! Pets also provide kids with true, unconditional friendship, and are a wonderful source of comfort for kids on bad days.
Your Child’s First Pet
There isn’t one set age when it is appropriate for children to get their first pet. After all, every child matures a little differently. What you’ll want to look for are signs of true maturity, and empathy for animals. Does your child do chores and homework without being reminded? Does your young one treat animals with kindness, care, and compassion? If the answer to both question is yes, your youngster may be ready to care for a furry—or scaled, or finned—companion. Start with something that is small and easy to care for, like a pocket pet or goldfish. Certain reptiles can also be great pets for older kids. Ask your vet for more information.
Always supervise interactions between pets and kids. Toddlers for instance, don’t always understand that Fluffy’s tail isn’t a toy, and sometimes learn that lesson the hard way. And, while many pets are super patient with playful children, others are not quite so tolerant. Kids—especially very young children—can also accidentally hurt pets by being unintentionally rough. Safety first!
Promoting Animal Welfare
It’s never too early to start teaching your children about the importance of being kind to animals. Take your little one to the zoo, and spend time watching movies and reading books about animals. This will help your child understand that animals are living beings that should always be treated with kindness and compassion.
This is a great time to get some adorable pictures of your children with the family pet! Afterwards, settle in with a cute animal movie, and give Fluffy or Fido a new toy, a yummy treat, and lots of ear scritches.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health. As your Moorpark, CA animal hospital, we’re here to help!