Did you know that adding a furry or feathered friend to your family can be beneficial to the growth and development of your little ones?
Having a pet cat for almost 10 years myself, I truly understand the joy that a pet can bring to a family. However, aside from the warm fuzzy feeling, caring for a pet opens up your eyes to many things, and to some extent, it even transforms you to become a better person. That being said, there are many reasons why you should consider getting a pet for your child, especially if you’re still sitting on the edge.
No matter what type of pet it is, a pet benefits a child in many ways. In fact, studies have shown that children who keep pets tend to be healthier and are more emotionally balanced. “A child’s interaction with animals should ideally start when they are young, as the pet and child will grow up together, play together and forge a close bond. Having a pet also impresses on the child that the pet is a sentient being and the child will learn how to care and take responsibility for the pet,” advises Thenuga Vijakumar, a volunteer with Cat Welfare Society.
However, be it a fish, cat, dog or hamster, choosing a pet can be a tricky business. Here are 5 ideal pets for your family.
Although they are extremely loyal and caring, small dogs tend to make better first pets for families, as it is much easier for kids to
understand, groom and handle them. Do note that dog-training sometimes require an extensive amount of time and effort as well.
Rabbits make great indoor pets, but require loads of attention and affection to not fall into being lonely. These bunnies also need exercise and the freedom to run around outside of their cage. So be sure that you are ready to take on this commitment as they’re not pets that can be left alone.
Is your child aged six or older? Consider a hamster; they’re busy critters that love to be held. Hamsters, perhaps, are more ideal for
older children. As they are tiny in size, you would need your child to fully understand why they are required to handle the hamster
with utmost care. What’s more, hamsters are oh-so-adorable and you’ll be entertained by their antics.
Don’t we all want a cute little Nemo for ourselves? Fishes are fuss-free and are probably the easiest to take care of. Besides providing your child with the ability to explore their imagination of what life under the sea is like, fishes aren’t going to harm your child, or vice-versa.
Think a kitty would make the purr-fect pet for your kiddos? You might be right. Due to their nature, cats make good pets as they do not require much training and can live independently for a longer period of time. Hence, you need not worry about leaving your kitty alone when you go out for a family outing. However, Thenuga adds that at a young age, kids require more guidance and parents must understand that having a pet cat is a 15- to 20-year commitment.
Kids and pets go hand-in-hand because of the unconditional love and affection they both get from one another from a tender age. Many kids tend to consider pets as their best friends due to the special bond fostered with the animal. According to Dr Clarice Hong, Specialist in Psychiatry & Consultant, Raffles Counselling Centre, “Pets can be a source of comfort for children as they can talk to them and are never judged by them.”
What are your thoughts on pets for the home? Which pet would you keep or do you have at home? Share your experiences with us below.