Often as soft, as endearing and as cute as a stuffed animal, and even more so when they are very young, an animal in a child's daily life is a reassuring and above all loving presence. Source of tenderness, playmate, mutual benevolence and unconditional love, adopting a pet means welcoming into your family a sacred dose of joy and countless memories.
The list of benefits of the presence of an animal in the daily life of a child is considerable… here are some of them that would make us crack if we had to make up our minds!
1. Daily contact with an animal reduces the risk of allergies
A study has shown that children growing up with pets are less likely to develop certain allergies. Some animals such as dogs and cats expose children to allergenic agents (by licking them for example) which will allow them to strengthen their immune system. Several studies show that children from their first year who grow up near animals will be less prone to asthma, ear infections and allergies . It has been shown that having a dog or a cat reduces the risk of colds and even flu , which further reduces the risk of more serious illnesses and the need for antibiotics. Not bad !
2. Living with an animal keeps us fit
Living with a dog makes our children play sports and casually keeps them away from those annoying screens on which we agree, they spend far too much time. Adopting a dog is therefore a great way to move and stay active. Studies have also proven that children who have a dog engage in 11 minutes of physical activity a day : they run, jump, walk, get on their hands and knees...a tremendous expense on all counts! Having a dog is also an opportunity to take daily walks with the family, discover new places and above all spend time together! No - negligible.
3. Living with an animal teaches the sense of responsibility
An animal requires a lot of love, attention, care, it is a repetition of daily gestures: feeding it, taking it out, teaching it the rules, we take care of it like any other living being, we take care of it. actually occupies as much as our children. When a child grows up with a pet, he attends, sees and records these repeated gestures. As soon as he is able to help, to get involved (around 9-11 years old) and above all to take care of it, this will nourish in him a deep feeling of usefulness. Being able to meet his needs will teach him a sense of responsibility, not to mention the feeling of pride in having been able to take care of them alone. Effective !
4. The presence of an animal makes it possible to approach the delicate subjects of life
Losing a pet is often a child's first encounter with death or illness. The opportunity to explain to him the importance of taking good care of others , of everything that is dear to us, to transmit to him the notion of respect for others and for all that is alive (animal, plant, etc.). Talking about life, preparing for the departure of a pet gives the opportunity to deepen the relationship with our children on important subjects that we cannot escape. Essestial …
5. The presence of an animal helps children control their emotions
Having a pet means sharing your daily life with a faithful companion who has unconditional love for us: dogs, in particular, are known to be very affectionate and loyal to their masters.
Animals are an attentive ear to children and true confidants ! Being able to tell secrets, moods or nonsense, while being sure that nothing will be repeated creates an unbreakable bond. Even if said confidant remains silent, all it takes is a look or a lick to be welcomed as a sign of empathy. The presence of the animal quite simply helps the child to evacuate what is close to his heart and to be able to express himself with confidence.
In addition to this psychological aspect, an American study published in 2019 shows that stroking your pet causes a reduction in the emission of cortisol in the body, the hormone responsible for feelings of stress and anxiety. Prodigious!
6. Living with an animal builds self-confidence and opens up to others
A dog or a cat can become a real friend for your child, and even help him make friends. Sharing your daily life with an animal stimulates social interactions: exchanges are created with other dog handlers during a walk when the dogs get closer and get to know each other and it's the same with children: when they hold the leash and other children approach to pet the dog, the spontaneity of this socialization, simple and easy , marks the child positively. Beneficial benefits if they are rather shy or reserved. The presence of a dog greatly helps the child to open up to others. Reassuring.
Adopting an animal is not a decision to be taken lightly, an animal needs daily care, attention, love and affection. For parents know that you have to take care of it and educate it like a child! A choice that needs to be deeply thought out upstream and therefore does not only depend on the desires of our toddlers;)