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  • Writer's pictureSalomé Ramos

Pet benefits in mental health among children

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Humans are known to be social species, but also, they look for intimacy, affection, physical comforting and empathic listening. For thousands of years animals have been great companions during good and bad times. According to NIH and WALTHAM around 68% of U.S households and 48% British households include at least one pet. These statistics indicate that pets are more likely to be found in households with children.

Pets are known to be more than loyal companions to us, they also bring unconditional love and support when it is more needed. Diverse studies have shown that animal companions can be beneficial for physical and mental health among adults and children. The interaction with them can help to decrease stress hormones and lower blood-pressure. Moreover, new study on preventing chronic diseases revealed that having a pet as a child makes children less likely to suffer from anxiety later in life. According to Dr. Anne Gadomski, children that interact with pets had lower anxiety scores than those who did not have any pet.

Additionally, the study of Gadomski et al., 2015 reveals that those households with pet dog are associated with decrease the probability to develop childhood anxiety.

Moreover, pets provide the sense of security, for example remain loyal and protective are characteristics that cats and dogs carry by nature. Also, pets are great listeners, you can share thoughts and feelings without feeling judge about it. Additionally, having a loyal companion can help children to familiarise and develop responsibility and dedication, as they will participate in day a day tasks such exercising, feeding and caring. With children participation in these everyday tasks will bring great benefits such increase sense of achievements, be able to concentrate in their objectives and will help to boots self-confidence.

There exist evidence that growing up with a pet can bring benefits in social, emotional and education fields. Toddlers with a friendly pet are more likely to have greater self-esteem, tend to feel less lonely, and enhances social skills. The critical ages for the impact of an animal companion on self-esteem appears to be for children under 6 and preadolescents over 10.

Having around a little or big friendly animal have been demonstrated to be beneficial in many aspects of our life, such physical and mental health. They help us to elevate our self-esteem and self-worth leading to future benefits such lower probabilities of anxiety or depression, behavioural problems and the contribution to educational achievements.

Women petting a dog pet, a Golden Retriever


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