EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AS YOUR LITTLE ONE GROWS AND DEVELOPS
A child’s best friend
Having a pet in the home can help children in myriad ways, according to a recent study from the University of Liverpool and the Waltham Centre. Growing up with a pet can bring social, emotional and educational benefits to children and young people, particularly if it’s a cat or dog, as they provide the highest levels of companionship and support.
“In both western and non-western cultures, pets may act as a form of psychological support, helping youths feel good about themselves and enabling a positive self-image,” says lead study author Rebecca Purewall. Researchers say critical ages for the impact of pet ownership on self-esteem include children under the age of six.
Having a pet also helps children feel less lonely, as well as enhancing social skills. “Companion animals have the potential to promote healthy child development,” says researcher Nancy Gee.