You might go to an animal shelter and think that you are rescuing a dog. You will pet them and give them the best in life because these animals deserve it.
Though the reality is quite different, when you bring a playful animal home, they are the ones who are going to help you in many ways and bring out the best version of you.
In actuality, it is these pet dogs who rescue you and your children from the mental and physical traps of daily challenges.
Pets have excellent effects on mental health. So not only are you providing for them, but the contribution comes from both sides.
As much as you contribute to a good life for your dog, they also contribute to you and your family’s happy life.
How Pets Help With Child’s Mental Health and Development
1. Pets Improve A Child’s Mental Health
Children these days have become more aloof and engaged in their own world. There are multiple reasons behind this.
Maybe they are single children, they have peer pressure, they are bullied or they spend most of their day alone, usually because their parents are away at work. There are innumerable reasons. However, the aftermath is the same: unstable mental health.
It leads to depression, anxiety, recluse, insecurity, poor communication skills, and poor performance in life.
Having a pet dog can improve a child’s emotional health. In addition, a pet will significantly help improve the quality of life of an emotionally distant child.
A pet provides the love that your child needs. Kids find their best buddy in the animals who live to make them gleeful. It is this unconditional love that stabilizes the mental health of any child.
All those hugs and cuddles boost chemicals in the brain that alleviates depression and shatters anxiety in children.
2. Furry Companions Make Kids Responsible
A child who has been assigned a task lives with the curiosity to complete it.
If you have ever seen children who have been given a task, you will notice how excited they get to do all the stuff.
Similarly, taking care of a pet is nothing less than a full-time job and responsibility.
Children are the ones with the most time in their hands, unlike adults. Hence, enabling them to use time efficiently has incredible effects on their cognitive abilities and development process.
Not only will a child be responsible for his pet dog, but he will also be responsible for chores around the house and every task he will do in his life.
And if you have more than one pet at home, imagine how busy it will keep your kid through the day. They won’t have time to waste or get bored.
3. Pets Provide For A Purpose In Life
Just as how a pet makes your child responsible, it also gives a purpose. Having a purpose in life is highly crucial to mental health. It provides a sense of fulfillment. This activates the reward centers in the brain to bring your child happiness and satisfaction.
A child can’t have a purpose in life similar to that of an adult. They don’t want big houses, cars or marriage. Instead, they just want a collection of toys and good friends so they can visit them.
Hence, taking care of a pet is an excellent source of satisfaction and gives them something fruitful to look forward to each day apart from going to school and returning home just to do the homework.
4. Structures A Routine
Everything that your child does, your pet does it with them.
A healthy routine is what your child needs in life right now. A structured schedule brings peace to your child’s head. They know what lies ahead and what they have to do at every hour of the day.
Feeding a dog or playing with them in a park, or going outdoors for their food gives structure to child’s day and makes it easier to go about it instead of sitting idle and doing nothing at home.
This habit will also facilitate them in prioritizing tasks in life and organizing their day to get most of the important stuff done.
5. Children Become Active And Caring
A child, who grows with love, compassion, and affection, grows to give love and care to others, as well.
Every human gives what he or she receives. If someone were abused or bullied during their childhood, they would grow thinking that this is how the world is. It will damage their self-esteem, and their belief in love and affection will shatter.
On the other hand, think about a child who grew up happy and loved. They will have valuable morals, and their belief in love and humanity will be unwavering.
A pet can assure you that your child is loved at all times. The unwavering love of a pet can substantially negate childhood neglect and trauma.
This positively influences a child’s ability to love later in life. Such kids grow up to spread positivity around them.
As full-grown adults, they will become the most compassionate, active, and caring individuals full of energy and good vibes.
6. Kids Feel Secured And Become More Social
Having a dog best friend allows a child to express his feelings and communicate with it even if the dog does not speak his language.
A dog studies and learns human behavior to understand human emotions and interactions. Don’t think that dogs would not understand us. They always do! That is why dogs listen to what we say, respond to us, and love us.
Therefore, let your child communicate with them. Communication skills only develop when a child gets the chance to speak without the fear of being judged.
7. Aids Children With Autism And Other Learning Difficulties
Dogs can be trained to learn new and different human behaviors. Likewise, they can also understand the behavior of a child with autism and how they suffer from a lack of social interaction.
Therefore, dogs are really helpful for children with autism or learning difficulties.
Children with autism often struggle with interaction and speaking with new people. They find socializing discomforting for them. This is where a dog can help!
Research suggests positive impact of a pet dog on family interactions between parents and child with autism.
Some trained dogs, like therapy dogs, can facilitate the child and encourage them to interact more often. They can help your child break the ice and learn to mingle with other children of his age, as a dog never fails to support and love a child with special needs.
Similarly, you can train a pup to recognize concerning behaviors in children and inform an adult in case of an emergency. Here dogs even protect the child from inflicting self-harm, and they work as great ‘bodyguards.’
8. Owning A Dog Helps Maintaining A Healthy Body
Having a dog means you will have to go out and play with him more often than you would like. Hence, a pet dog will keep your child on their feet and busy for most of the day.
Your child will also get to do a lot of physical activities because of the pet. In other words, your child will stay active, lively, and also maintain a healthy weight because of the busy lifestyle as a perk of petting a dog.
This is great for a child’s developing bones and brain. In addition, physical activity boosts chemicals in the human body’s system that enables a healthy metabolism.
It is more beneficial for humans than dogs when we think we will pet a dog to provide a good life for them.
These canine pals are the best companions any human, especially a kid, can ever have. And no harm will come from petting an animal in the house. If anything, a child will always benefit from having a best friend in their lives.