Children are always attracted towards animals and we have observed a deep connection between the children and their pets. Researchers believe that having a pet at home can contribute to enhance a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. By developing a healthy relationship with pet children learn to build trustworthy relationships with others. Caring for a pet also helps in developing communication skills, compassion, and empathy.
But having a pet is a great responsibility. I have seen and observed that most of the times parents buy a pet for their kid out of her temporary desire or stubbornness. Once the pet is home, everyone takes care of it, feeding multiple times, taking to vet and all the desired and undesired stuff. After a couple of days, children start to get bored of it, their schooling is hectic, parents are busy in their work, so technically nobody is free for taking care of the pet.
I have witnessed pets being kicked out of homes, roaming around on streets with no food at all. Plenty of them end up at the animal shelter, thanks to PETA and other animal friendly NGOs. Another common reason of abandoning the pets is its sickness. Many pet owners don’t want to get their pets treated because to them it is just a waste of money.
American academy of child and adolescent psychiatry once published an article which stated that proper parental involvement and planning are necessary before adopting a pet. It said that a child who learns to treat her pet kindly and take good care is indirectly learning how to treat people the same way. Careless treatment of animals is harmful and unhealthy for both the child and the pet. The article also found some physical and emotional benefits that can be fulfilled by pet ownership. It included physical fitness and health, comfort and trust, display of love, loyalty, and affection and experience with loss if a pet is lost or dies.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, are excellent companions. They can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and eliminates loneliness. Children are seen overcoming their shyness, developing trust on their relationships and enhancing their social skills. Pets deserve much better than what we can offer. Try to adopt a pet or two because the abandoned pets need a home and a happy home for a pet is a happy home for you too!