We have known for some time that pets can alleviate stress in individuals. Just the presence of an animal can be soothing and anxiety reducing. Pets have been used to boost both the mental and physical health of individuals in hospitals, prisons, and senior care homes.
- Pets provide unconditional love and affection. They are fairly predictable and do not engage in the many human activities that generates stress, such as arguing or exhibiting contradictory behavior. The reliability of a pet can bring comfort to a child who sees his day as quite inconsistent and hectic. A pet can generate a calming effect that in turn can reduce your child’s stress.
- Feeding and caring for a pet allows your child to shift his focus from his own life to his pet’s needs. He can receive a sense of satisfaction and competence from learning how to care for his new pet and having this pet depend on him. A child’s confidence and self-esteem can increase as she acquires new skills and becomes successful in caring for her pet.