Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Five Reasons Every Child Needs a Pet

Hi Everyone!

Today's post is in honor of our beloved family dog, Toby who celebrated his 9th birthday on Monday. 
Toby was a rescue dog from the local animal shelter and joined our family 8 years ago. In those 8 years he has brought such joy and happiness to our family. As I watch my children grow, I see how much having a pet has enriched their lives. Whether you are cat family or a dog family, I believe having a pet is essential for teaching children valuable life lessons:

1. Animals Can Teach Love: Animals are one of the best ways for children to experience the value of loving something and being loved. Some might say that animal love is unconditional; but I don't think that is necessarily true. Instead, I believe that animals can teach the power of love as a reward. If you give an animal love, it will give back that love to you ten fold.

2. Animals Can Teach Compassion: I believe whole heartedly in adopting and rescuing pets over buying from a breeder. There are so many animals in need of love and a good home. Our Toby was twice returned to the animal shelter before joining our family. He has evidence of a broken tail, ribs and a paw. My children have a deep awareness of the suffering Toby experienced early in his life, which in turn has taught them the true meaning of compassion.

Animals Can Teach Loyalty.  
The definition of loyalty is "a strong feeling of support and allegiance to something or someone" A family pet embodies this definition probably more naturally than anything else on earth. This is obvious in the dog or cat that greets you at the door after a long day, or jumps in your lap to comfort you on a cold rainy day. I believe that children who witness this type of loyalty from animals in their home have a greater likelihood of being loyal to their own family members and friends.

4. Animals Can Help Overcome Fears: Many children, my own daughter included at one time, have a fear of dogs, especially large breeds. Children need to be shown that something larger than them doesn't have to be intimidating or scary. They can be gentle and loving, kind and caring. If you have a family pet of your own, your children are less likely to be afraid of other people's animals.

5. Animals Can Teach Reliability and Dependability. Children can learn a lot from pets about what it means to have someone rely on them for its well being. All of my children participate in caring for Toby, whether it's feeding him, making sure he has water, letting him outside and of course, giving him lot of love!  When children realize that they are helping something who can't do things for themselves it teaches them to think outside of their "own personal bubble"

In the end, it doesn't matter if you are a dog or a cat family; a hamster or guinea pig family; a rabbit or turtle family. Pets enrich and empower our children to become kind, contributing and dependable members of society. There's always an excuse to not have a pet: "We move too much", "My child is allergic to dogs", "We don't have a backyard"....the list can go on and on. Still, there's also always a way to "find a way" as well. You just have to be willing to look for it.

I'm sharing this post with the following linky parties:

1. Party Under the Big Top Act 12

2. Manic Mondays Blog Hop

3. Not So Wordless Wednesday


Unknown said...

I agree! I am not always a big fan of our pets but the boys live them and help take care of them! Our dog Maggie will be 12 soon and she is a great protector of the boys and our home! Love reading your blog : )


Unknown said...

I can't wait until our kids are old enough that we can get a dog! But a dog is the last thing I need to also take care of right now with a 1, 2, 3 and 5 year old in the house. Thanks for linking up to #BigTopBlogParty