Furry Friends: Why They Are Valuable to Your Kid’s Development

child and dog wearing superhero costumes

Everyone loves those emotional YouTube videos of pets saving children. The love and affection they share are visible. Pets love children with all their hearts and would do anything for them. They save them from dangers and serve as a companion in lonesome hours. Children enjoy their company, too. It works out pretty great if parents bring pets when their kids are young.

Children between 7 and 10 years old are ready to have pets. This time is appropriate as both they and their pets love to play. If you introduce your child to pet ownership in their teenage years or young adulthood, they can find it a bit tricky to form a bond with their pet. They are already busy with life, which can make the pet feel lonely. On the other hand, toddlers share the same energy as playful pets. Hence, they can enjoy each other’s company. Pets also contribute to children’s health.

How to choose the right pet for your kid?

Parents must focus on choosing the right pet for their kids. Many factors come into play, like their personality. If your kid is shy and quiet, you should choose a pet that’s not loud or jumpy. But if they’re fun-loving and extroverted, a high-spirited canine will be a perfect choice.

You must understand that pets have their own needs. Some can adapt to anything, while others are very high maintenance. These qualities must align with your kid’s behaviors. You can’t hand a fragile bird or fish to someone who often breaks stuff and is forgetful. The most common choices include dogs, cats, and rabbits. They’re cute and fluffy creators who get along with humans very well. Some kids go for birds, fishes, rodents, turtles, or even snakes. It’s all a matter of choice.   The important part is that they’re animals and need some training adapting to your home. They need attention, regular exercise, medication, and a proper diet to be their best selves. You must treat them as a part of the family.

Training your pet

Pets are animals at the end of the day. You must focus on hygiene when you’re around them. They can wet the floor and chew your mattress. If you want to avoid these, it’s important to train them. Pets need a lot of training in the beginning, and the methods are different for different animals.

Different animals showcase different behaviors. In cases of dogs alone, their behaviors change as per the breed. Smaller dogs are rather noisy, like a Pomeranian. You must train them to bark less. Dogs chew stuff when they’re teething, so preventing that is a good option. Later, they may develop naughty behaviors like spilling trash, running away, or not following your orders. To control unwanted dog behavior, you can consult experts who offer obedience training programs for dogs.

With cats, it’s a common misconception that they can’t be trained. Of course, they’ll not do tricks like dogs. But with patience, you can actually train them to do quite many things. Here are some tips you can follow to train cats:

  • Train them before meals
  • Be consistent
  • Eliminate Distractions
  • Tackle one skill at a time

Another pet that you can train is a bird. You can’t do much, but you can teach them to climb up on your fingers. You can use your index finger like a perch on which they can climb. Use your hand as a ladder to the cage so that they can get comfortable with touch. You must use vocal instructions, so they understand your voice. Just like other pets, they need treats to learn something new.

Taking care of your pet

a vet, a dog, and its owner in one picture

You bring home a baby animal, and it’s fragile like a human child. You have to take good care of them so that they’ll reciprocate your love in the future. Both puppies and kittens go through a weaning period where they survive on their mother’s milk. You must not bring them during this time.

After weaning, you can feed them animal food as suggested by the veterinarian. Keep them close to you. They’re sensitive during this period as they’ve come to a new place, away from their mother. Shower them with love and affection. In a few weeks, they’ll start to recognize you and your family members.

It’s advisable to not leave them alone with infants in the beginning. However, it’s fine under your supervision. Bring toys for them and play with them as they love that. Talk to them even if you think they don’t understand because they do.

Nothing teaches you to love more than a pet. They come as a blessing and become an integral part of the family. Very soon, you’ll despise living without them. They grow up with your kid in the house and form an unbreakable bond with them. All you need to do is shower them with love and affection, and they double that in return.

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