Horizon education center If your family has the time and resources to take care of a pet, your children will benefit greatly from having a pet in your home. In "Benefits of pet ownership for children," Sheknows.com discussed some of ways a pet can enrich a child's life.

Greater sense of responsibility

Children are used to be having people be responsible for them but need practice being responsible. Even children who take care of siblings or those who have other responsibilities such regular chores can still benefit from caring for a pet. The article observes, "The sense of responsibility kids get from taking care of their pet birds, reptiles or fish often transfers to other parts of their lives—they take better care of themselves and oftentimes get better grades in school."

Learning to be gentle

In a child's rough and tumble world, objects are meant tested for sturdiness but handling a live creature requires gentleness. While some pets may require more careful handling that others, having a pet will allow your child to see what it is like nurture someone else.

Possible health benefits

You may have read or heard that at times our surrounding are a little too clean and we need some exposure to dirt and allergens to build up or immune systems. While we don't recommend getting a pet that you know will make your child sick, it has been shown that being exposed to a pet early in life may help people with allergies and lessen the impact of their symptoms.

In addition to helping with allergies, pets can also alleviate stress. Adults are not the only people who feel stressed: "Kids have far too many challenges in today's society—both academically and socially—and their small pets can give them a semblance of normalcy and balance even when life challenges them." Sometimes after a bad day at school, coming home to a pet can help; a child may feel better taking care of someone else or just be happy to pet the animal.