The Benefits of pets on children



I grew up as a farm boy, which meant animals were part of my everyday existence. Like many children who grew up in that environment, having daily chores to contribute to the farm went with the territory. My step- father insisted that that the animals eat before we did in the morning and it was befallen on me to ensure this occurred bright and early at 5:00am before my swimming lessons. 


I am grateful I was able to spend my childhood years with animals. Some of my favourite memories are those times spent with our childhood pets who taught me important lessons about life, many of which I carry with me today as an adult. 


So it has come as no surprise that I am now running a business that is centred squarely around them. Their pure hearts, friendly nature and companionship led me led me to build a tech startup focused on quality veterinary care delivered in the home, making the lives of pets and their owners more convenient, accessible and stress free.


Becoming a father added a new element to the love and respect for animals as I observe the special magic that happens when children are in their presence. They are calmer, more joyful and filled with curiosity. When a pet becomes family, the opportunities for these meaningful encounters are not only amplified but create fertile ground for helping to shape a child’s sense of self, responsibility and respect for living things. 

I’ve witnessed my son cultivate empathy and learn to respect other living things. These are all lessons that research has proven common amongst children with pets. If you are thinking about pet ownership and want to understand the benefits they can have on your child’s development, here are my top 5 benefits of why pets are important for your child’s emotional and physical development:

A family pet equals more exercise!

Research into the physical health benefits of dogs to children health of found that those children that have a family dog do about two hours more physical activity per week. Pet play is also an important way for kids to be active. A dog in the household provides increased opportunities for children to actively play each day. 

Pets are great for the social and emotional development of children.

Pets also have a role to play in the social and emotional development of children. They can improve self -esteem, the importance of responsibility, empathy and their sense of the world and them in it. 

Builds understanding of the circle of life.

Children involved in taking care of a pet learn about life and death cycles. The grieving process can help children learn to cope with other losses throughout life. 

Pets are particularly helpful for children going through grief or difficult circumstances.

Pets can help develop a child’s self confidence and trust, and in older children they can become a confidante during difficult times. Pets can be a great listening ear for traumatised and disabled children who can benefit from their unconditional love. 

Pets build a child’s connection with nature.

The Biophilia hypothesis states that humans have an innate need to be in contact with the natural world. When a pet becomes family, you always have that connection with nature. It’s an opportunity for your child to learn the importance of slowing down and enjoying life – whether it be through walking around the park, cuddling on the couch with your pet or stopping your homework to give your dog a pat.  


Morgan Coleman is the CEO and Founder of Vets On Call, a mobile app that facilitates in home quality veterinary care via a mobile app on your home.