Celebrating National Kids and Pets Day

Kids and pets. Is there anything better? Around here, we certainly don’t think so. That’s why we’re excited to celebrate National Kids and Pets Day! Established in 2005 by family and pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige, the day is “dedicated to furthering the magical bond between children and animals, to help bring awareness to the plight of pets in shelters awaiting new homes and educating the public about safety between children and pets.”

Sign us up! Aside from the obvious cute-factor, there are countless health, emotional and developmental reasons why pets are good for kids. Here are five of our favorites:

Respect

Interacting with a pet can help a child learn how to treat others with kindness. By teaching kids that pets have feelings and should never be jumped on, grabbed or harmed, it helps them better understand the importance of compassion and respect toward all living creatures.

Responsibility

By observing their parents, even very young children can begin to learn how to care for another being. As they mature, allowing them to take on more and more tasks like feeding, walking and grooming teaches valuable lessons on following through with one’s commitments.

Health

Did you know that having a pet reduces a child’s likelihood of developing allergies by 33 percent and can strengthen their overall immune system? In addition, some studies show that a child doesn’t even have to interact with an animal to reap the rewards. Just being in the presence of a dog, for example, reduces a child’s blood pressure.

Emotional Support

Because pets are such patient listeners who won’t ever blab to someone else, many children turn to them for support. They feel comfortable spilling their secrets or working through problems out loud with their animal companions.

Self-Esteem

One of the great things about animals is they don’t pass judgment. They accept and love us regardless of our social status or outward appearance, and they make us feel great about ourselves.

Of course, we know that this isn’t a complete list by any means. So we’d love to hear from you! What benefits do your kids get from having a pet? Or if you don’t have kids, what did you learn from your own pets when you were a child? Tell us about it on our Facebook page