Five Benefits of Raising Kids with Pets

Five Benefits of Raising Kids with Pets

By Kara Venus

There are so many benefits to raising fur babies alongside human babies. According to The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “ A child who learns to care for an animal, and treat it kindly and patiently, may get invaluable training in learning to treat people the same way”.

The AACAP also states so many benefits:

“They can be safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts–children often talk to their pets, like they do to their stuffed animals.

  • They provide lessons about life, including reproduction, birth, illnesses, accidents, death, and bereavement.
  • They can help develop responsible behavior in the children who care for them.
  • They provide a connection to nature.
  • How many kids can benefit from getting outside more!
  • They can teach respect for other living things.

Other physical and emotional needs fulfilled by pet ownership include:

  • Physical activity
  • Comfort contact
  • Love, loyalty, and affection
  • Experience with loss if a pet is lost or dies.”

Personally, my childhood dogs are some of my fondest memories! It was important to me that my daughter was raised alongside the dogs that have been a part of my family for 8 years.

  1. Children learn gentleness and empathy at a young age. Every day we teach my one year old daughter to be “gentle” when interacting with our dogs. We’ve seen this translate to a friend’s pets and animals she’s met out at farms, etc. We are also teaching our dogs to better understand “gentle” when interacting with our daughter.
  2. Children learn responsibility at a young age. Learning to feed, walk, take out, clean up after and groom a pet are all great lessons for the future!If you aren’t ready for the responsibility of a dog, starting small with a fish or other low maintenance animal can help! Shelters have all kinds of pets available: fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, dogs, cats and even chinchillas! is a great place to start your search!
  3. Pets promote physical activity! Walking, playing, taking them to a dog park and all ways to increase and promote physical activities in kids. With today’s technology promoting kids spending more time on screens than ever, pets that promote outdoor physical activities can help everyone!
  4. They teach children emotional responses to love, loyalty and even death. Children need to learn how to deal with all of the curveballs life throws at them and a pet can be a great way to learn! I remember when my first dog died, I learned how to process grief. I discussed how I felt with my family and even at school. I was able to write an essay dedicated to my first dog, which helped communicate my feelings.
  5. (Bonus!) According to Cleveland Clinic, having a pet at home can also help with allergies!
    1. “Some research suggests that children who are exposed to animals before age 1 are less likely to encounter these allergies later in life as adults, says allergist Sandra Hong, MD.
    1. What’s more, pregnant people with dogs are 50% more likely to get the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise — thanks to Fido’s inexhaustible energy (and bladder).”

Combining pets and babies is never a decision to take lightly, just know that it can overwhelmingly be a positive experience. There are a ton of resources and research out there to support you on your journey.



Kara Venus lives in New England with her daughter, husband and two dogs. Her love for dogs and volunteering with local rescues inspired this story! She works as a marketing professional by day and enjoys skiing, gardening, and traveling. She hopes this story encourages readers to feel confident about welcoming a new family member, two-legged or four-legged!

*Photos courtesy of Kara Venus


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