Pet ownership boosts confidence in kids
April 11, 2017
Caring for a pet really is a childhood rite of passage. Anyone that has grown up with, and loved a family pet intrinsically feels the value of their companionship.
The experience creates lifelong memories.
But while it's obvious that having a pet is an exciting milestone, did you know it can also positively affect your child in a much more profound way?
New research from The University of Liverpool was recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and funded by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition shows that a child's social, emotional and cognitive development can all be encouraged by interaction with the family pet.
Youngsters with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills. This research adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development.
Researchers carried out an in-depth review and quality evaluation of studies investigating the effects of pet ownership on emotional, educational or behavioural development in children and adolescents.
Critical ages for the impact of pet ownership on self-esteem, appear to be greatest for children under 6, and preadolescents and adolescents over 10.
Generally dogs and cats are deemed to be the best providers of social support, perhaps due to a higher level of interaction and reciprocation in comparison to other pets.
Dr Kate Mornement, Animal Behaviourist, says that pets may act as a form of psychological support, helping youths feel good about themselves and enabling a positive self-image.
“Pets provide children with amazing social support, through their companionship and friendship, helping them feel good whilst also teaching children about empathy and taking care of others.”