At Pua Mohala, we are crazy about our animals. We have dogs, fishes, chickens, guinea pigs and one tortoise. We can attest first hand the benefits of having pets in the home and how they positively impacted our children's well being.
According to a Huffpost article called : How Pets Can Help With Child Mental health and Development ( 1/26/21) by Caroline Bologna, She shares the top benefits pets have on mental and emotional health.
Helps to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression
Develops a schedule, routine, and structure
Release of excess energy when we exercise or play with pets
Build social skills and confidence
Pet adoptions skyrocketed during the pandemic and one of the main reasons was that parents understand the benefits that having a pet can bring to their family. Many parents saw it as a great distraction to the uncertainty many young children were experiencing and having their schedule and lives turned upside down. Having a pet brings in a sense of routine and shared responsibility. One important thing to note is that parents must not be naive in thinking that their children will bear the whole responsibility of owning a pet like they promised when they were begging for a pet.
Some things for parents to consider when getting a pet is the longevity of the pet, your children’s attention span, are they truly willing to care for this animal for the next 10-15 years, and all the expenses that pets can incur. I have always cautioned parents to never purchase a pet that they are not willing to end up caring for themselves. It is never fair for a pet to end up neglected or abandoned because their novelty wore off and the children no longer want it. Pet purchase should never be on a whim and need to be agreed upon by all family members and contracts are also a great idea so everyone knows what their responsibility is and what is expected.
But there is no argument that pets bring great joy and happiness and can also teach children great life lessons. Studies after studies show how pet owners live longer, express less loneliness and report higher levels of satisfaction in their lives. Plus, pets are just great fun!