Can you have pets and a baby?
YES! In fact studies show that kids benefit from having pets in their lives! This blog will show the areas that kids and pets can help each other grow as well as areas you need to be careful in when it comes to your kids and pets.
First let’s talk about the positives!
- Kids learn empathy growing up with pets. They understand how to care for another, show affection and build a long standing relationship with a fur friend.
- Kids understand the importance of taking care of another being and all the responsibility that comes with it. Not only do they become more responsible by taking on chores and tasks for their pets but they also build confidence as they are responsible for another life.
- Animals are emotionally conscious of moods and can help the mental, physical and emotional health of those around them. They can sense anxiety, low blood pressure, seizures and more and therefore make great therapeutic companions who sense your child’s mood.
- Kids understand social skills and how to share. It is shown that kids who grow up with pets are more likely to be social and learn to share early on. This is very important for kids growing up and often can’t be taught by parents but comes naturally to kids when it comes to their pets.
- Your child will always have a loyal companion by their side - night and day.
There are however some things to keep in mind when it comes to kids and pets.
- Proper introduction is everything! Remember it can very easily happen that your pet can get jealous of the new baby and all the attention they are getting from the family. Your new baby has to be introduced slowly with lots of positive reinforcement towards your pet- like treats and pets and praise.
- Pets can get aggressive if children do not know how to treat them. Ensure you teach your child how to be around your pet and do not leave them alone until they understand and are comfortable with each other. Kids pulling ears, whiskers and stepping and hugging pets can be a conflict point.
- Ensuring that your kids and pets have equal attention and care to minimize jealousy and conflict is crucial for your kid and pet to have a happy healthy relationship.
- Choose the right pet for your kid! Remember both kids and pets have unique personalities so ensure that they are a good pair. If you are getting a puppy, look at the breed requirements and energy levels beforehand. It is often good to look at a senior pet as they are more relaxed and won’t be as energetic and jumpy as a pup.