Children and Pets - A Healthy Combination

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					Children and Pets - A Healthy Combination

There have been many studies about the relationship between young
children and having pets in the home. It has been found that having a pet
dog or cat can actually make a baby healthier in their first year of
life. They become less susceptible to respiratory infections, such as the
common cold, and also have been less apt to have ear infections in their
first twelve months of life. In addition to the health of children, pets
can teach children useful skills that are helpful in their social
interactions with people.

Pets may help in the development of immunity in children because of the
dirt and soil that they bring in from the outdoors. Children need to be
exposed to many different elements to become immune to their
surroundings. The findings of having cats in the household as pets were
not as strong as having dogs because a dog goes outdoors on a more
regular basis. Having pets in the household will not take away allergies
if there is a strong family history, but there have also been studies
done suggesting that children will not be as likely to become allergic to
animals if they have regular exposure to them.

Children can learn empathy, responsibility, communication, both verbal
and non-verbal, and how to deal with stressful situations in a
constructive manner from owning a pet. These skills can come from being a
pet owner and taking the pet for walk, cleaning and maintenance of a yard
used by the pet, and learning to talk to the pet with a calm voice even
in stressful situations. Pets are often used for therapy with children
that have learning disabilities or difficult home or family situations.
Children that have pets learn to pay attention to non-verbal signals of
communication, which is not a concept that is easily learned otherwise.
For children struggling with obesity, the exercise that a dog needs can
be the perfect therapy for both the dog and the child that is responsible
for that dog's exercise routine. Pets may also have a positive effect on
family activities. It may become a daily routine for a family to get
together and take the pet on its daily exercise routine. This creates
bonding between all of the family members and also includes the pet as
part of the family, too.

Overall, the effects of being a pet owner and having children are
positive. Whether it helps with immunity from such things as the common
cold, or helps in teaching a child responsibility and important
communication and social skills, pets can become a wonderful addition to
any family!

				
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