Helps grow social skills
Kids who spend time playing with a pet typically enjoy interacting with people more than kids who don’t own a pet. They also learn to develop skills such as interpreting nonverbal cues and trust. Owning a pet can also encourage empathy towards animals and humans alike.
Having a furry friend to play with, pet, and cuddle can lower stress and elevate mood. Stroking a pet’s soft fur can have a calming effect on people. ”When my daughter is crying, our cat will come running and snuggle up to her.” says Katlyn Purkapile, Edgerton mom of three. “It has been amazing to see the change it has made with her. My daughter starts petting her and calms down quicker than any other techniques we have tried. It’s a really special relationship.” Per a study done by Frontiers in Psychology, people who spend time with a pet on a regular basis have lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and less stress. Patients that were visited by a service animal while in the hospital also reported less pain.
Helps develop life skills
Kids who have the opportunity to care for a pet will also develop important life skills such as time management, responsibility, and understand the importance of schedule for feeding, walking, and cleaning their pet.
Kids who crave stability and routine will benefit from having a pet in their lives. Pets can provide a different type of stability that they may not get from peers or family members. “My 8 year old has ADHD. We recently got him a kitten and he sits still and is calm with her for long periods of time.” says Olathe mom, Pricella Edwards. “I believe it helps him.”
Many parents have found that having their pet near them during virtual learning or while doing homework helps the child stay calm and focused. “My 11 year old has anxiety and depression. For her birthday she received a guinea pig. Lilly, the guinea pig has been a game changer.” says Tiffany Nolan, mom of five. “Virtual schooling was especially difficult for her. Suggesting she snuggle Lilly will dramatically improve her mood and demeanor. For her (and for us) it has had a huge positive impact.”