What is it about animals that makes them so special around children? Your little one has been begging for a cat...a dog...a fish...a lizard--anything she can call her own pet. Have you been on the fence about another creature to care for in your already busy world? Here's why pets make life better, and why you might want to think about that lizard after all!

Because they offer love and affection unconditionally. “Puppy” is thought to have been adapted from the French poupée, or doll. It touches the parts we sometimes call the heart. Companionship is perhaps the most obvious thing that pets give us, but this is only the beginning.

Welcoming an animal into your home has unlimited benefits for your kids .  
  • Pets tap into their potential for learning trust, respect, compassion, empathy, and caring
  • They can boost your kids' self-esteem.
  • They can be safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts--children often talk to their pets, like they do to their stuffed animals.
  • They can help develop responsible behavior in the children who care for them. You might be thinking, "Really?" It's just more work for me . But, trust me , it does.
  • They provide a connection to nature.
  • They can teach them respect for other living things.

In this world with increasing uncertainty, one thing is absolute: children adore animals. There’s nothing simpler or more meaningful than the bond between a pet and his or her young master/mistress/guardian/playmate/partner in crime. 

For a child who loves animals (but isn’t quite ready for the responsibility), you can plant the seed of volunteerism fairly early. It feels good to help others; and compassion, respect, and commitment can be learned when working closely with animals in need.