As the festive season approaches, many families consider getting a pet for their students. While you may have heard all the reasons why this could be a bad idea, there are some ways in which pets can add to your student’s life in a positive way.
Students who grow up in homes with pets have fewer allergies and are less likely to develop asthma. Petting a dog or a cat lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. In the same way pets are utilized in hospitals to make people feel better, they can have a very positive effect on the health and well being of your student and pet owners require fewer visits to the doctor. Having a pet also encourages students to be more active. Students with pets play outside more often and have to take their pets for regular walks. Getting outside and playing with their pets means that students get the exercise they need and are less likely to have weight issues.
Students who regularly play with pets have improved self-esteem, impulse control and social skills. Sharing a pet fosters better relationships between siblings too which helps to improve the family bond. Cuddling a pet reduces loneliness and anxiety and leads to feelings of comfort and well-being. All of these factors help to improve the general happiness of your student.
Having a pet helps to foster the nurturing instinct in students. Having to regularly feed, walk and care for their pet teaches students how to be responsible and to put the needs of others first. Students learn to follow a routine as their pets need to be walked and fed at the same time every day.
Ensuring the perfect fit
One of the best ways to ensure that your student will benefit from having a pet is to plan carefully. Volunteer at a local shelter on the weekends or take care of a friend’s pet for a few days to see how your student manages the responsibility.
Make sure that your student is old enough to manage a pet and that they have enough time to spend with their new friend. You can get a smaller pet, like a hamster or a mouse, to see how your student deals with the responsibility.
Consider the additional cost and ensure that you have the money and space to comfortably house the new addition to your family. Pets need food and medical insurance as well as annual shots and regular grooming. Don’t buy a pet unless you have the funds you need to cover expenses.
Having a pet can help to make your student a happier, healthier, well-rounded individual. They can learn valuable lessons about nurturing and responsibility while forming a relationship that is sure to bring the whole household tons of joy. Pets can be a really great asset and a very positive addition to the family if you get them at the right time.