Children and Pets: Benefits and Perils
Having a childhood pet is a wonderful learning experience for a child. Children learn how to take responsibility for another living thing, and provide care. Children with pets understand that their needs do not always come first, and that sometimes taking care of their pets must take precedent over their own need to play or relax. These children tend to be more caring, less selfish, and happier than children who do not grow up with pets. Children with pets also tend to exercise more than children without pets, and spend more time outdoors. This results in healthier children and a decrease in childhood obesity. Since childhood obesity is a growing epidemic with serious medical consequences, including childhood diabetes and other serious illnesses, getting a pet for a child can be a valuable learning experience and an important health decision.