How Pets are Beneficial for Kids

April 26, 2022

I have been juggling at the thought of finally adopting a pet for our family. And coincidentally, on this day, April 26, is National Kids and Pets Day. Is this the right time to introduce a pet to my two kids, 4 years and 2 years young? Will they be able to foster and nurture the pet? These and more weigh-in in my decision that will have a lifelong impact on my children’s development. How many of us have pets grown up? I remember spending mornings sharing boiled bananas and carrots with my puppies, strolling in the park and on the streets, playing fetch in the afternoon, and capping off the night while cuddling. Pets played a major part in my growing-up years. And I couldn’t ask for any other way. Now that I am older and already have kids of my own, I also want them to experience having pets by their side. And aside from the pleasant memories while growing up, children raised with pets have many benefits. Children’s self-confidence and self-esteem can be boosted while taking care of a pet. They develop non-verbal communication, empathy, and compassion. Maintaining positive relationships with pets helps in their growth and, likewise, develop good relationships with other people. Pets also provide a safe haven for children’s private thoughts and secrets as they would often talk to their pets as to what they would also do with their stuffed toys. Taking care of pets can also teach the kids how to respect other living things, and develop responsible behavior. Moreover, living with pets can make them learn lessons about the cycle of life, which starts from reproduction to birth, even unfortunate happenings like illnesses, accidents, and death, and coping up with a loss and managing emotions while going through bereavement. Pet ownership encompasses both the physical and emotional needs: comfort contact, physical activity, loyalty, affection, and love, and the inevitable experience of loss once the pet dies or is lost. Generally speaking, children are gentle and great at handling pets, but some behaviors could be a telltale sign of significant emotional problems as they can be overly rough or even abusive. And this is when a parent should step in right away. Seek halo from professionals or psychologists for a comprehensive evaluation.
Necessary actions when caring for a pet
If you have made the great leap of finally adopting a pet alongside taking care of a kid, there are certain guidelines that every parent should know. One should always monitor the kids with pets at all times, especially if the kids are under the eagle of 3-4 years, as they still lack the maturity to control their angry and aggressive impulses. Those under 10 years old are still unable to take care of big pets on their own, so make an extra effort in showing the kids how to care for them. You will serve as role models as what they see in you can teach them how to be a responsible pet owners. And always remind the children to be gentle in dealing with the pets, because like them, they can be best taught not in a scolding way, but in a calm demeanor.
The next step is to pet-proof your homes, especially the garage
Why are we giving emphasis on the garage? The rest of our homes are most likely conducive for pet rearing especially when you live with kids. The garage, however, can be not as conducive because this is the space where we park our vehicles, store our stuff, and do workshop activities. And what could that imply of our space? It just means that the garage contains toxic and hazardous materials that we often use for car maintenance, home cleaning, lawn upkeep, and other dirty work. So, our pets will be vulnerable to these items, especially since we could not monitor them 24/7 while they roam our house freely. So, what we could do is pet-proof our garage before anything bad occurs.
Remove toxic threats and pests
Identify the potential hazards in your garage. If you store toxic materials like oil, cleaning products, paint supplies, car fluids, coolant, alcohol, pesticides, and other chemical wastes, better bring them out to a location that your pet cannot go to. If that is not possible, store them in tight boxes above the floor. Overhead garage storage and wall shelves will be your best partner, and Fleximounts is the leading brand when it comes to these types of garage storage. Storing them on walls and ceilings prevents the possibility of the pets knocking over these materials when stored on the floor. Clean all signs of liquid leaks that may come from your vehicles and other garage supplies right away. Aside from the harmful liquids, check your cables, ropes, and wires, or anything that could cause entanglement. Properly store sharp objects like nails, screws, knives, long objects such as ladders, mops, sports equipment, and other cleaning tools that your pet may accidentally knock over. Inspect every nook and cranny, under the workbenches and storage, door and window hinge for signs of insect and pest intruders. More than your pets chasing them hastily that could cause injuries and unwanted accidents, pests could also cause health problems. Aside from maintaining a squeaky clean and tidy garage, another great practice to adapt is using eco-friendly alternatives. Toxic materials such as paint, detergents, and cleaning materials have eco-friendly variants. Using these can prevent your pets from having a taste of the toxic residue as they tend to lick the floors and surfaces. So always opt for safer options in most, if not all, of the products that you use every day.
Extending comfort in your garage
Garages are oftentimes the neglected space when it comes to proper ventilation and temperature control. When the season becomes too cold, the garage is also subjected to extreme coldness, and vice versa. So, it is high time to install proper ventilation and temperature control not only for your pet’s safety but also for the humans living in the house, as well as the items stored in the garage as they are also vulnerable to moisture and changing temperatures. Also, make the entry and exit points in the garage pet-friendly. There are some cases where we leave the garage doors open and the pets will likely enter the space without us knowing. So, when we close the doors, our pets can be stuck in the garage and there could be no other way out. Install pet doors that they can easily push. But the garage door to the outside should always be shut and securely locked to prevent the pets from going outside without human supervision.