Parenting Pets or no pets; 4 points to consider

Pets or no pets; 4 points to consider

2016 Apr 12

Parenting with Joanne

If you are a parent and have a pet at home, you know as well as I do that it isn’t an easy task. Pets need time and attention just like a child. And very soon you will feel that you have an additional child under your care. They need company, love, food and exercise. They need to be groomed regularly and taken to the vet for vaccines and vitamins. Yet, there is no denying that there is something very special about children who have the chance to grow up with a pet. If you, like many other parents, are considering the option of getting a pet, read on.

Pets offer companionship

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When children become accustomed to playing and spending time with pets, this bond can be a source of very real companionship. In the case of a child with no siblings, owning a pet can be a great source of comfort and joy. In my opinion, the earlier a child is exposed to a pet, the better, as this gives the pet and the child more time to actually grow up together and form a bond.

Pets initiate responsibility

Many parents complain about their children being irresponsible. And this, I must say is a growing problem among many children. It is common for children to constantly misplace their belongings and take no effort in maintaining their rooms. Having a pet can help change this. When children are encouraged to feed, bath and take care of their pets, they are in effect learning to be responsible towards another living being. For a young child these actions are fueled both out of love for the pet and the joy of taking care of something other than himself.

Pets generate family time

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With most of our schedules being ever so hectic, it isn’t surprising for us, not to have time to spend as a family, on a regular basis. When the entire family gets involved in grooming, feeding and playing with a pet at a home, this time becomes well invested. It serves as quality time for the family on the whole and adds to the bonds between each family member.

Pets and better health


Research has shown that children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies. Researches have also suggested that there could be a possible alteration in the immune systems of children who are exposed to pets from an early age, which makes them respond differently to other forms of allergens as well. In other words, when a child grows up with a pet, there is a very real health benefit. But in many cases, the fear of the opposite is what makes parents resolve not to have a pet.

With the holiday season rolling in, there is time for families to sit together and discuss many things. Why not make one of the topics about pets. Speak to your children about what they feel in this regard and make a decision together.

Joanne Sathyadass has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, Psychology and English Literature from the University of Bangalore now serving as a Special Needs Educator

For any queries please email Joanne on


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