Advantages and risks of pets in the development of children

Animals represent emotional support, especially for children. Although there are some risks, having a pet at home promotes respect for nature and responsibility.

Last update: 04 March, 2022

Having pets in the development of children Promotes physical and emotional growth. Those who live with pets perceive themselves as empathic, relaxed, responsible and with less fear. In addition, the unconditional love of these beings enhances self-esteem and makes the little ones feel important.

Dogs and cats minimize stress, reduce anxiety and are great social support. But just as the animals bring positive effects, it is also necessary to take into account the possible dangers and how to prevent their stay from being unsafe for the family.

Advantages of including pets in the development of children

The Argentine Society of Pediatrics points out that the relationship of a child with a domestic animal, under controlled circumstances, benefits both in terms of strengthening the personality, attachment and cognitive development. Pets also influence a healthy lifestyle and guarantee other advantages.



They provide values

Love, compassion, respect and responsibility stand out among the values learned thanks to pets. Growing up caring for and sharing with an animal helps to be a better person and to function well in society.

They offer company

Pets are ideal company when parents are away on an errand or to work. They also accompany in particular situations, as in the case of only children. They calm and provide strength to face loneliness with positivity.

Pets provide company and improve children’s self-esteem.

reduce allergies

If you expose your child to the presence of dogs and cats as a baby, they are less likely to suffer from allergies, compared to those who do not have animals at home. The foundation affinity argues that living in an environment with a high level of endotoxins produces a protective effect on the immune system.

This scenario means less danger of respiratory allergies in adulthood.

Improve relationships with the environment

Contact with animals is advantageous for introverted children. Some research indicates that pets stimulate speech and favor socialization, so that owners tend to laugh, talk and share stories when they are with them. This is how he exposes it UST Psychological Summa.

The article adds that even a dog alone is a conversational partner. Although he does not respond verbally, the canine projects convincing affection and love towards his human.

They represent joy for the family

Pets come home to make the family happy. In fact, they become one more member.

If the child had a difficult day at school, the cat or dog is sure to lift their spirits. When sadness surrounds the minor, the pet will be there to provide comfort.

They transmit security

unlike man, animals are not critical or malicious. Her love translates into peace, trust and tranquility for the children.

According to studies reported by the Educational Association for Human Development, when you are close to your pet or think about it, you feel safe, want to set goals and have less tension.

minimize stress

a friendly dog Reduces child stress considerably. In addition, the ease of understanding between domesticated and small animals, through daily games and other recreational activities, serves to work anxiety and depression.

control aggressiveness

Pets in the development of children with aggressiveness problems They are a source of relaxation and calm. In an outburst of behavior of the minor, the little animal is able to transfer serenity to him until he calms him down.

Minors with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and behavioral disorders make negative attributions about their parents, their peers and the environment, thus justifying hostility, as explained by the Cantabria Foundation. In that same order, these children positively perceive people related to animals.

They help lose weight

The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2022 obesity in children and adolescents will be more frequent than underweight. As a solution, the body encourages physical activity through sport and recreation. Children with a pet often exercise by playing or running together, lessening the chances of becoming overweight.

They encourage responsibility

Being responsible is a virtue. One way to cultivate responsibility is to take care of a pet: feeding it, bathing it, and cleaning up after itself. all these tasks are beneficial in the maturity of a child.

It is important for parents to keep in mind that the main control of the animal corresponds to the adult.

Children learn responsibility when they feed, clean, or walk their pet.


Possible risks of pets in the development of children

Adopting or buying a pet is undoubtedly synonymous with family rejoicing. However, it is necessary to take into account the possible dangers of incorporating pets into the dynamics of the home:

  • They are carriers of fungi, fleas, ticks and infections. The United States National Library of Medicine notes that diseases transmitted by animals are spread by direct contact or through the environment. In the care of the animal is prevention.
  • There is a predisposition to allergies in atopic children, by hair or feathers.
  • Scratches, bites, or bruisesesions. If the pet does not live at home before the birth of the child, choose one according to the age of your child and that adapts to the available space. Otherwise, teach both how to live together.

Health and safety considerations for pets and children

If the animal does not have the vaccines or is subjected to the flea, worm and tick control program, the health of humans is in danger. It is essential to comply with veterinary appointments, with sterilization and keep waste boxes or areas away from children, as well as clean the space.

Regarding possible attacks, instruct the minor as to how to react. The main thing is the following:

  • Do not run or look at the animal directly.
  • Bring your hands to your sides and back slowly.
  • Interpose an object between him and the pet.

For security it is better to train the little animals, to accustom them to caresses and educate them for frequent contact. It also teaches the child how to treat the pet and to act with respect and without fear of animals.

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