Pets and children – The safe interaction with each other
Don’t we all know the pleading begging of children for the wish of a pet? But parents often hesitate whether it is the right decision to follow the wish of the child. Time, space, cost, effort – all this must be well considered. However, if all these conditions are met, a pet can give a lot not only to a child, but to the whole family. In addition to character development, animals contribute to the physical and mental health of each individual family member.
Proper handling of an animal promotes the behaviour of the child
Seeing children grow up together with animals is an absolute enrichment. The child not only has a playmate, is less alone and at the same time learns to take responsibility. It is also valuable for emotional development, because a child can build an incredibly special relationship with an animal, which it often cannot have with adults and with other children. Animals are non-judgmental and are happy to be cuddled and stroked. An animal is there and listens without judging or giving away secrets.
What do children learn from animals?
Proven studies show that children learn many things from their four-legged friends. Children who have grown up with animals or have a lot of contact with animals are said to have fewer adjustment difficulties in kindergarten and school. In addition, they learn to interpret body language better and to put aside their own wishes in favour of another living being, which strengthens their empathy.
However, everyone should be aware that the positive behaviour of the animal depends on the upbringing and the family environment. Children, and especially small children, are not able to raise an animal properly if they do not get help or guidance from an adult. Children learn many things from their parents and therefore they learn many things for life when they observe them raising the animal. Anyway, learning is another area where animals are often helpful. Living with animals can also have a positive effect on adults. This is true even for severe mental illnesses such as depression or trauma.
The dangers between animals and children
A child and an animal quickly develop an incredibly special and intimate relationship. However, everyone should be aware that an animal is still an animal that can suddenly snap and bite in unexpected situations.
Especially for small children, the bite injuries of an animal can lead to severe head injuries and life-threatening neck injuries. Older children and teens are most often bitten in the arms and legs. It is important to clarify that everyone is at significant risk for wound infections.
Often such dangerous events occur due to competitive situations or careless behaviour of the child. The dear and cuddly animal can bite, scratch or kick within seconds. Unconscious or conscious misbehaviour of a child or a dog owner is the main reason for a dog bite. Proper education with any animal is paramount to avoid misbehaviour like this.
Which pets are suitable with children?
From small to large, you can find the right pet for every family. However, before choosing an animal you should think about how much time you have for the animal and whether you can respond to its needs in the best possible way. Here is a list of the top 4 most popular pets for kids.
Dogs are among the most popular pets in a family. Especially for children, a dog can be a great playmate and cuddle partner if it is well behaved.
2. Rabbit / Hamster / Guinea pig
Do you want a pet with less effort? Then a rabbit, hamster or guinea pig are suitable. These are often kept in a spacious and pet-friendly hutch. They are very tame and child friendly.
Cats love to cuddle and play, so they are perfect as an additional family member.
Turtles are remarkably interesting animals with little effort. Children love to watch them eat and move slowly. They require little space and little time.
In summary, a pet is a real asset for children and families. However, everyone should be aware of the great responsibility that comes with an animal before getting one.