We all know there aren’t many things cuter than a cuddly puppy or fuzzy kitten, especially when our children are snuggled up next to their soft little bodies, a look of sheer joy on their faces. Besides the obvious “aww factor” of this purrrfect relationship, studies have shown that children with pets benefit in many ways, socially and cognitively.
Caring for a cherished family companion can help children develop higher self-esteem, improve social skills and help foster emotional, cognitive and physical proficiency. They imbibe nurturing skills, and develop a sense of empathy and compassion. There is also evidence that pet ownership may help develop non-verbal communication.
Research can also show that families with pets often spend more time interacting as a group, as pets offer a focal point for fun and entertaining activities. It is hard for anyone to resist the floppy ears and wet nose of a darling puppy tugging at your shoe for attention, or a mischievous kitten climbing your leg for nuzzles! Everyone can take part in walking the dog or share in the responsibility of feeding and grooming him.
Pets bring families together, slowing down the hectic pace of day to day life, and teaching us that something as simple as teasing your cat with a ball of yarn or throwing a tennis ball for your venerable old hound can be fulfilling and relaxing. Stroking our best friend on their furry head after a long day of work takes away a little of the stress of the daily grind. Nothing is quite like that wagging tail or purring tabby that greets you at the door, always happy to share their affection with their favorite pet – you!