Do Children Really Benefit from Having a Pet?

As a parent, you may be used to your children asking for a pet if you don’t already have a furry friend in your home. Whether it’s a dog, cat, ferret, horse or hamster, chances are you’ve dealt with your child’s pleas for a pet of their own. But, do children benefit from having a pet in the family?

Do Children Really Benefit from Having a Pet?

Animals are cute, they are fun, and they can add a new dimension to family life that was simply missing before. However, they are also very hard work and have the potential to be very expensive. In some cases, pets can even make money, too! I love this infographic made by the guys at Cash Lady. You might be surprised at some of the earnings of some of your favorite furry TV and Internet stars!

rich animals cash lady infographic

Click the image to see the full infographic with more of your favorites like Grumpy Cat!

Benefits of Having a Pet for Your Child

If you aren’t sure whether a pet will be good for your child, have a look at the benefits below which have been found in households with a pet.

Academic learning

According to The Pet Report, “A study found that children were able to perform a task faster with a dog present, without making any more mistakes. Children may also find it easier to read aloud with a dog in the room, as the animal helped them overcome their anxiety – in fact, 72% of parents said having a pet helped overcome their child’s anxiety.”

Having a pet in your house could seriously help your child with their academics, or simply provide a good listener for reading aloud. I can personally attest to this one as my daughter’s reading greatly improved when our new kitten entered our home. I struggled to convince her to read aloud to me, but she runs in the door after school and curls up in her favorite reading spot to read her daily book to her cat!


Even if your child has pet allergies, there may be a pet perfect for your family. There are certain breeds of dogs and cats that are great for children with pet allergies. You may also find your child is allergic to one type of animal, but not another. Hamsters and rats are often great pets for children who suffer from pet allergies.

Having a pet around the house can also improve your child’s health (assuming they don’t have pet allergies specifically.) Numerous reports state having one or more pet in the house helps to boost your child’s immune system.

Dogs are great pets in that they get your children active and outside. This could simply be through playing with them in the yard or taking them for walks or runs. An active child is a healthy child and a dog will only encourage this.


The key to getting a pet for your child is ensuring that they understand that the pet is their responsibility. They are in charge of feeding, cleaning and bathing their pet and they won’t get away with shirking the responsibilities. It allows them to be in charge of something of their very own and to learn the skills that they will need throughout life.


Pets also teach your child about compassion. When their pet is cold, sore, or hungry, your little one will learn to respond to this appropriately and to get the pet what they need. It teaches them about animals and their feelings and how to be kind and gentle with all living creatures. Compassion is an incredibly important characteristic and something that the world today could do with a lot more of.

It is always important to weigh the pros and cons of bringing a pet into your home and your own family situation. If you recently added a pet to your family or are considering adding a pet, what factors have you considered to make the decision?

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Jenn is from Upstate, SC, and loves that she gets to work from home to be with her two little girls. Jenn has been happily married to her very own Superman, Ben, for over a decade, and spends her time reading, writing short stories, doing freelance work and blogging, crafting, riding motorcycles, watching Clemson football, and enjoying life with her family.

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  1. Darcy Koch

    I do believe kids benefit from having a pet. It teaches them responsibility and allows them to have a special cuddly friend.

  2. Amy Orvin

    I loved this post. I love pets and have many myself. I believe they benefit kids and adults so much. They bring such happiness. I couldn’t live life without my furbabies.

  3. vickie couturier

    i had pets and my kids had pets and now the grandkids,yes i think it is awesome for them to learn to care for them