12 Ways Pets Are Great for Children

  1. Teaching children to care of a puppy can make them more cooperative and generous.
  2. When children imagine how a pet feels, it helps them learn to empathize with their peers and take others’ feelings into account.
  3. Confiding in pets as if they were friends can help children recover from trauma.
  4. Children who own pets often have higher self-esteem.
  5. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies.
  6. Children who own dogs may take fewer sick days.
  7. Pets teach kids to empathize with their peers and take others’ feelings into account.
  8. Confiding in pets as if they were friends can help children recover from trauma.
  9. Children who own pets often have higher self-esteem.
  10. Teaching children to care for kittens can make them more cooperative and willing to share.
  11. Children who grow up with a pet are less likely to develop allergies.
  12. Children who own cats may take fewer sick days.

“Because [humans] evolved solving problems about animals, animals have the power to retain our attention. And when we are around animals, we become more joyous, communicative, expressive, and calm.”

Aaron Katcher, M.D., emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania