Kids, cats and dogs seem to go together like bread and butter or salt and pepper. After all, where would a boy be without a trusty dog at his side or a little girl without her cute and cuddly kitty cat? Pets are a valuable addition to any family but especially for those with young children because they can teach them such important life lessons.

There’s obvious things that most people would expect about how having a pet will enrich and educate children, like teaching them about the circle of life, responsibility, training and housebreaking an animal. But there are many other ways that pets can benefit our children and we’ll take a look at a few of them here.

Learning About Finances

Although thisus may seem like a strange connection to make between money matters and having a pet, but invite your children to participate in knowing the costs of animal ownership. When shopping, share with them how to find the best deals and bargains for the animal’s food, toys, and other products that are necessary to keep their new best friend happy and healthy.

Different Types of Relationships

Just as parents can’t be their child’s best friend, kids can learn that while the relationship with their pet is a friendly one, they need to be the one who is in charge. Together, the child and pet will likely be happy and carefree for the majority of the time, but just like when mom reprimands their kid, no means no. This will also help children understand the concept of discipline itself and why it is so important.

Healthier for Children Have a Pet

There have been plenty of studies that show how animals can soothe us by lowering our blood pressure and helping us to live longer lives, but some research shows that they can actually make children healthier. Dr. Dennis Ownby, a pediatrician and head of the allergy and immunology department at the Medical College of Georgia, says that having multiple pets actually decreases a child’s risk of developing certain allergies.

In a study of 474 babies who were tracked from birth to age seven, those who were exposed to two or more dogs or cats were less likely to develop common allergies compared to those who had no pets in the home. Kids with animals had fewer positive skin tests to both indoor and outdoor allergens. Further research suggests that early exposure to pets may also decrease a child’s risk of developing asthma.

Builds Family Bonding

Having a pet is just like having another member of the family and this helps build better bonding within this group. Sharing different responsibilities like feeding and grooming can help bring families closer together. Sharing in other activities with pets, walking the dog or playing with the cat, are often enjoyed with the whole family.

In today’s hectic society of overworking, crazy schedules, stress-filled days and seeming like we’re constantly on the go, sometimes it’s nice for a family to just relax and pet their cat or sit with the dog and watch some television. There’s so many benefits of pet ownership beyond love and companionship, they will also help to make our children more responsible, smarter, happier and healthier.