Pets have a positive impact
Anyone who has loved a pet knows the positive impact it has had on their life. Now, according to a new University of Cambridge study, children are especially swayed in an important way by pets. Says the study —
Household pets may have a major influence on child development, and could have a positive impact on children’s social skills and emotional well-being.
Dogs were particularly the best pet (sorry cat owners!) for achieving these positive bonds. The children felt companionship and love from their pets.
“Evidence continues to grow showing that pets have positive benefits on human health and community cohesion,” says WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition researcher Nancy Gee, a co-author of the study. “The social support that adolescents receive from pets may well support psychological well-being later in life but there is still more to learn about the long-term impact of pets on children’s development.”
How to pair a pet with a child
The non-profit organization Best Friends has advice for pairing pets with children. The group recommends that very young children should always be supervised around pets.
Not until a child is 4-to-6 years old should you allow less supervision. Says Best Friends —
4-6 years: By now, a child has mastered quite a lot of language and can understand more about how to interact with another living being, but a firm eye on the situation is still needed.
6-10 years: Your child can now help look after a pet – feeding, cleaning up, walking, and playing with a cat or dog or any other animal in the house.
Good dog breeds for kids
While there’s sure to be disagreement about which dog breeds would be the best match for your child, there are some breeds that tend to have a kinder and more loyal temperaments overall. The American Kennel Club recommends these breeds:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Bull Terrier
Here’s a video with these breeds.