7 Benefits of Having a Family Pet ...

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There are so many benefits of having a family pet that it's worth considering if you have the time to adopt an animal. Not only can you give it a great home, but your family will gain as well. Choose the right pet for your circumstances and home, and you may enjoy many happy years together. Here are some of the great benefits of having a family pet.

1. Responsibility

One of the best benefits of having a family pet is that it helps teach kids the concept of responsibility. They have to help look after a living creature that needs feeding, cleaning and exercising. When they have a family pet, kids learn that certain tasks need to be done, otherwise there are negative consequences. This is a great foundation for the responsibilities they will have later in life.

2. Compassion

Growing up with animals also teaches kids compassion, as they interact with them every day. They discover that animals have feelings and should be treated well. Caring for a living creature shows them that animals are not objects, and so they learn to be concerned about animal welfare.

3. Brings the Family Together

Since a family pet belongs to the entire family, the kids have to learn cooperation. They need to share fun times and caring for the animal. But it's not all serious - everyone can have fun taking a dog out for walks or playing with a cat. Take the dog for a run in the park and play ball games - you'll love it!

4. Exercise

A dog is one of the animals that requires a lot of commitment. If you have time, though, you'll get plenty of exercise with your mutt. They need twice-daily walks and benefit from a runaround in the park or garden as well. This is a chance for you to fit some fun exercise into your day as well - walking is really great for your health and anyone can do it.

5. Comfort

Some children are really shy and don't socialise easily. So if your child finds it hard to make friends, having a pet can be a great comfort for them. Their pet really will be a four-legged friend. A pet can also be a big help when changes occur in their life, such as losing a grandparent or moving house.

6. Health & Allergies

It's been noted that growing up with pets reduces the likelihood of developing allergies, as children are exposed to allergens from early on. The presence of a pet also benefits the health of the family in other ways. Pets are known to have benefits for mental and physical health in other ways; they help lower blood pressure and boost your mental state.

7. Learning about Life

Through having a pet, children learn some of the harsh realities about life. For example, they become aware that life does come to an end, especially if the pet is a short-lived animal like a hamster. Plus, they learn responsibility as a great preparation for the adult world. As youngsters, they will have to feed the dog and help exercise it, even if they don't feel like it. Similarly, they will have to go to work every day as adults!

Pets do involve a lot of commitment, but if your family has the space, time and money, having a family pet can be very good for everyone. Children who grow up with animals learn to care for and respect them. They also learn what responsibility means. Did you have an unusual family pet?