Provides Emotional Support
The third reason why having a pet is great for babies and toddlers is that they act as emotional support! It can be tough being a kid, whether at school or in kindergarten.
Young children can’t properly articulate when or why they’re feeling a certain emotion. It can be difficult for us to console them when they’re feeling big emotions. Pets, on the other hand, are the perfect shoulder to cry on.
Pets don’t judge or get frustrated when a toddler can’t put their finger on an emotion or a reason. Toddlers often have long conversations with their pets. They’re more willing to do this with a pet than a parent sometimes.
Growing up with a pet allows your baby or toddler to have a close and trusted friend in which they can always find comfort. This can be invaluable as your child gets older.
Pets can be there when:
- A child experiences emotions that they aren’t sure how to handle
- When they need an unbiased & ever-loving support system
- Or just when they need a good cuddle
Increases Exercise & Play
These days, more and more children are being handed a tablet or smartphone before they can even speak. It’s a natural thing for the babies of these latest generations to spend more time indoors in front of a screen than outdoors getting fresh air.
What happens when a child doesn’t get enough fresh air?
- Studies show (4) that increased screen time and decreased “green time” have a high potential to lead to mental health problems in younger and younger generations.
- More specific to toddlers, this research (5) indicates that kids of this age spend more than an hour a day in front of a screen. They tend to have more behavioral and developmental problems than children who spend less time in front of a screen.
Having a dog in your baby or toddler’s life can play a huge role in reducing screen time and increasing green time.
Time spent outdoors, exercising, playing and being imaginative, and connecting with nature is always more beneficial. The fluff of a dog is also an excellent sensory experience for your child.
If your baby grows up around pets, they see you feeding, bathing, and looking after the pup and cat. It’s never too early to start teaching your child responsibility. What better way to teach your child about being responsible than to involve your beloved family pet?
When your baby is still very young, allow them to watch you feeding your pet, bathing them, grooming them, or taking them to the vet. As they grow into toddlers, involve them directly in these activities.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to teach your child to be gentle to animals. Responsibility is one thing, but it should be done with love and kindness.
The sixth & final reason why having a pet is great for babies and toddlers is that they teach valuable life lessons.
Babies and toddlers may not understand much about life, but they’ll surely learn as they get older. Having pets in the home from a young age gives your children opportunities to learn about birth, death, illness, accidents, loss, mourning, and reproduction.
It also provides chances to learn about other things like kindness, gentleness and unconditional love.
Pets are excellent for our kids in so many ways. If your baby or toddler doesn’t have a furry friend yet, now may be the time to consider getting one.
On top of your baby or toddler’s immune system be strengthened, a pet can:
- Help them grow up to be more caring
- Help them become a well-rounded human being
Who doesn’t want that for their children? Of course, your kid will also have a friend who loves them unconditionally. And who knows, you may be saving an animal’s life too. Why not adopt a pet today?