1. A pet can improve your health. Animals are natural stress soothers and can help to improve your mood, giving you a better outlook on life. They also help you to make social connections within the community and can even spark friendships. In addition, multiple studies suggest that having pets in a household with young children can help them to build better immune systems.
2. Pets create companionship and teach responsibility to children. If you grew up with pets, chances are, you have fond memories of your cats, dogs or other creatures from your childhood. Getting your child a pet can increase feelings of security, help him to feel better when he’s had a rough day, and teach him to be responsible from a very young age.
3. Pets help children learn. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to picture your child reading to his or her puppy, kitty, hamster, gerbil, lizard or any other pet. Kids love interacting with their friends, and their pet friends are no exception. Have them practice their reading skills to their favorite fluffball.
4. A dog can help you lose weight. If you’re carrying around some extra pounds, don’t be ashamed: we all are. Dogs of all sizes love walking, so make your exercise enjoyable by taking Fido for a nice, long walk around your neighborhood. You can even get creative and take him on long nature hikes or even go camping with him. All that exercise is great for your waistline, as the average 160 lb. person burns more than 300 calories in an hour of brisk walking.
5. Pets can help to keep you safe. No one wants to think about their house catching fire or a burglar gaining access to their precious things in the middle of the night, but these things can and do happen. There have been many cases of both cats and dogs alerting their families that something was amiss in the home, and many of these wonderful pets have been credited with saving lives by helping their owners get out to safety just in time.