Pets: Why We Should Love Them More
When we think of spring, we think of colourful flowers, birds chirping and of course baby animals being born. There have been many sightings of ducks lately waddling about with their new ducklings! From October 1 – 7 it is Be Kind to Animals Week and tomorrow our Bonkers Beat Music Kinder is having Pet Day Show and Tell! We are encouraging children to show off their beloved pets and tell us about them — the passion children have for their pets is always beautiful to see!
From birds to fish, dogs to cats and even the likes of lizards or horses, pets are often a huge part of a child’s life. For children who do not have a pet, there are often many opportunities to connect with animals regularly. This could be through having a bird bath and bird feeder at the home, or visiting the ducks at a local pond.
The benefits of being around animals and pets
There are a range of benefits to gain through children having pets and/or spending time with animals. Research continually shows that children’s health and development is enhanced by having pets in the home, but for families who may not be able to have a pet, creating time to be around animals offers benefits too.
Teaches empathy: Pets teach children the importance of focusing on the needs of others, in turn showing them the value of empathy and compassion.
Enhances learning: Dogs are frequently used to help children to learn. For example, Story Dogs is an organisation that sends dogs into schools to help children who are struggling with reading. The results and outcomes from children reading to dogs have been astounding!
Instils sense of responsibility: Animals, especially pets, need to be fed, walked, cleaned and tended to daily. Having a pet in the home or at centres shows children how important it is for them to be responsible.
Decrease allergies: Studies have shown that children who have dogs and cats in the home have less allergies or more protection from allergies, with researchers believing that pets introduce children to the microbes they carry which stimulate the immune system in humans.
Build self-esteem: The feeling of being loved by an animals goes a long way to boost children’s self-esteem. After all, who doesn’t feel good about themselves when an animal comes along and feels comfortable with you!
Pets at childcare centres
While many childcare centres allow children to bring their pets to visit, some centres even have a pet of their own! All children can contribute to caring for the centre pet. It may be a guinea pig or rabbit, or maybe a tank of fish. Alternatively, your centre can look at having organisations visit with animals to pat and learn about to give children access to the benefits of animals for their wellbeing and development.
Do you have pets visit or stay at your centre? We would love to see them! Share with us on Facebook!