Advantages of bringing children up alongside pets

Having children and having pets are individually wonderful, but put the two together and it can be a match made in heaven. Here’s why children can benefit so much from growing up alongside animals…

Pets can teach children about responsibility
One of the most advantageous things about children growing up with pets in their home is that it can teach them about responsibility. No matter what animal you have, you can get your child to help care for it in some way, whether that be taking the dog for a walk, feeding the cat or changing the fish’s water. Granted, they may not enjoy every aspect of looking after a pet, such as cleaning up after it or even giving it medicine (although if you look on sites such as vet-medic.com there are loads of products that are really easy to apply), but they will understand the various responsibilities, including the unpleasant ones, that come from owning an animal.

Without wanting to sound morbid, pets can also teach children about death, particularly if you have a pet such as a hamster that may only last a couple of years. It will be upsetting but it’s a way of explaining the subject in a way they can relate to.

They will hopefully grow up to love animals
Not liking animals is one thing (as hard as it is to believe), but it’s a sad fact that some people also mistreat them. However, hopefully growing up around animals will hopefully ensure that your child learns to love them and treat them right throughout their life. The RSPCA has more information about treating animals correctly and educating others on the matter.

They’ll grow up to be friends
If your child has a pet around when they’re growing up then there’s every chance they’ll grow to be friends. Children can get very attached to animals and they’ll have great fun playing and even talking to their pets. If you only have one child, then having a pet could be perfect to provide them with a little company in lieu of a brother or sister. You might think this sound a little strange, but children have imaginary friends, so why not have cute and furry (or scaly) ones as well?! 

It can give your child more exercise
Yes, yes, this isn’t going to apply to all pets. You can’t walk a fish. But if you have a dog, then your child can come with you on walks or have a run around in the garden with it and get some fresh air and exercise. If you’ve got plenty of room (and money) then a horse can provide exercise and a hobby, which again is great for teaching responsibility and having fun.

Pets can actually be good for your child’s health
Aside from the exercise factor, it’s believed by experts that children who grow up around animals are less likely to develop allergies. Some studies have also suggested that children living with dogs tend to get ill less often with problems such as ear infections in the first year of their life. Living with animals and stroking and petting them is also said to reduce stress levels, which is a benefit for the whole family.

Pictures courtesy of my very own lovely little tabby - shadow!


  1. I can't imagine my place without my three boys, nothing beats coming home from work and them all wanting a cuddle x

  2. Lovely post ! I totally agree having pets is essential for teaching them responsibility :-) We have goldfish and they help clean the water every few weeks ! Great post !

    Daddy Space – UK Parenting lifestyle blog