Did you know there’s a very cute holiday coming up? April 26th is National Kids And Pets Day! Here, a North Phoenix, AZ vet talks about the special relationship between children and pets.

How Pets Benefit Kids

Pets are actually great for children in several ways. For one thing, they help kids learn about unconditional love and friendship. They also teach about them empathy and compassion. Additionally, pets are a great source of comfort for children. Fido’s loving smooches and Fluffy’s affectionate purrs can be very soothing on bad days. Our canine and feline pals also make great playmates. There may be some health benefits as well. Some studies show that kids with pets have stronger immune systems than those without animal friends.

Guidelines

Set some ground rules to cover interactions between your child and the family pet. Be sure to supervise pet playtime, especially when your kids are very young. A toddler may not have learned how to play gently, and can roughhouse or frighten a pet.

Your Child’s First Pet

We’re guessing that most of you remember your very first pet. This can be a very special milestone for children! While there is no one specific age when it’s time to go to the pet store, we don’t generally recommend getting pets for children younger than five. It’s also important to pick the right pet. Your little one may beg for a puppy or kitten, but we recommend starting out with something smaller and easier to care for, like a gerbil, hamster, mouse, Guinea pig, or goldfish.

Celebrating!

This is a great time to take a photo of your child with the family pet. (Tip: make a tradition of taking these photos each year. It will be wonderful to look back on them later, and see how they have changed over time.) Or, help your child make a homemade toys or treats for your furry pal. A fun play session is another good option. At the end of the day, settle in with a great kids’ movie that features animals. This is also a great chance to talk to your children about our animal friends, and help them understand how important it is to treat them with kindness and compassion.

Please call us, your local North Phoenix, AZ vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!