- Attachment with pets helps reduce chances of depression and anxiety in children
- Choose a pet that gets along with the baby
- Never leave your baby unattended with the pet
- Ensure proper training for the pet
- Take vaccinations timely to avoid health risks
It was very difficult for Aswathy, a mother of one and a half-year-old baby girl, to decide whether to adopt the dog or not when she came across with a cute puppy during an adoption drive.
“I grew up with a dog, playing and sharing with him. My parents got me a pet when I was about ten years old. Though I wanted to have a pet now, I am concerned about my baby and still in confusion,” shares Aswathy.
Many parents go through the same confusions over whether to get a pet for their children or not. What will be its consequences? How to associate pet with children? Will it affect the health of the baby? And the questions never end.
Though it is totally personal to have a pet along with your baby, what can be offered is a set of guidelines and safety tips while adopting a pet.
Researches show that children become more attached to pets indicating how children associate pets in life. A study conducted among ten thousand students in the age between seven and twelve years revealed that pets made 77.9 percent of the participants happy. Many types of research on this topic indicate that attachment between children pets indirectly helps in reducing depression, and increases the quality of life.
Here are few guidelines while planning to adopt a pet for your children
- Canadian Institute of Child Health recommends a minimum of five years old for children to have pets. It will avoid chances of getting injuries and will be easier to teach them how to behave with the pets.
- Never leave your child unattended with pets. For children below five years old, they may not follow the instructions we give and leaving babies unattended with pets put them at risk.
- Train your dog to obey the commands by anyone in the family. Or else it may end up in chaos, in case of your absence.
Choosing a pet
Dogs and cats are the commonly seen pets and definitely get along with babies easily. While having dogs as pets, choose a breed which becomes friends with babies. Some dogs will have fur, and it may be difficult to manage it. So dogs with less fur and not so aggressive nature would be good for children.
In case of cats, though they are not much aggressive or harmful, ensure that it behaves properly. Having a fish at home enthuse the children, and at the same time, it is of less harm. Keeping the fish tank or the aquarium at a safe distance and height will avoid risk. Birds can also be very good pets and harmless to children.
Safety Tips for Children:
- Never place your hands on top of the head of your dog directly. Bring your hands gently, let the dog identify you, sniff at you then touch the side and then move your hands to head.
- Never tease or stare at an animal
- Don’t disturb if they are sleeping or eating
- Ask the owner before touching the pet
- Never try to run away from an animal. Walk slowly
Get your dog trained well to obey the commands. Ensure that the required vaccinations have been given timely to your pet animals. In case of any kind of aggressive behavior take the pets to veterinary specialists. Dogs with fur can be brushed accordingly so that the excess fur did not fall inside house or bedrooms.
Various studies have substantiated that having a pet especially a dog helps strengthen the emotional health of the children and young people. Having a dog or cat can reduce anxiety and depression levels in youth while it sometimes helps increase self- affection thereby imparting a feeling of self-esteem.
Now, go on and bring a cute and lovable puppy or a beautiful fish to your home and build a family together.