Kid’s Best Furriend
Before I was a human Momma, I was and still am a Fur Momma. Since I can remember, I have always had a pet. My parents had a dog when I was born. Throughout the years there were fish, birds, and dogs in my life. Some of my fondest memories as a child were with my pets. While having a pet is a huge responsibility, the reward is well worth it. While some people are not animal people and don’t want pets, raising your child with a pet has numerous benefits.
Allergies are less likely
I’ll start off with the scientific reasons before I head to the emotional benefits. Children who are raised from a young age (in utero) to pre-teens with pets have a decreased chance of having allergies and/or asthma. The rationale behind these studies shows that having the baby/child exposed to different allergens and bacteria at an early age can decrease the risk of the child developing asthma or an allergy. Yes, there may be a lot to clean between baby messes or kid messes to dog messes to pet hair; however, all these exposures will help your child have a better immunity in the future.
It’s always nice to come home after a long day to a loving pet to lie in your arms. While I was pregnant and quite nauseous laying in bed, my elderly cat would snuggle next to my belly. I remember thinking how calm it made me feel and how excited I was for my daughter to get to experience that calm. It has been found that petting a dog does decrease cortisol levels thereby decreasing stress to the human body. Children with pets tend to feel less lonely by having a companion.
Taking care of a pet while having a toddler lays the foundation for their sense of responsibility. Toddlers are very observant and see Mommy and/or Daddy feed the pets, give them water, clean up after them, and walk them. As the children get older, they too can help with some of these responsibilities. It shows them that the chores do not get done without their help and that there are consequences should they not be done (i.e. pet is hungry/thirsty and the mess is still present).
Now for the cute emotional reason. The bond between a child and a pet is priceless and so cute to observe. From the morning “hi doggie” to the hugs between them, watching a child and the bond with their pet is truly special. Having a pet from an early age teaches the child to love and nurture a relationship. This bond can be helpful should the child have a sibling somewhere down the line. It shows them a bond and nurturing relationship.
Yes, It’s Work
Obviously having a kid and a pet is chaotic but it is worth it! The memories your child will make, the memories you will make watching them will be worth the work. Truly, what animal lover isn’t going to also benefit from having a pet around?!? I know once my daughter is asleep, I enjoy all the doggie snuggles I can get.