Being a mom who cares for our son and beloved dog, I understand the added load a family can take on while owning an animal. Teaching a child how to respect a pet's personal space is no easy task. The responsibilities that come with adopting an animal are sometimes immense and may not fit into every family’s lifestyle, but the payoff of caring for and loving a pet are deeply rewarding.
It is known that pets greatly enhance our lives and help keep our spirits happy. Caring for an animal and even petting a four-legged friend has been said to lower a person’s blood pressure. The give and receive of this interaction releases oxytocin, the same hormone that is detected between mother and child during attachment. Though how important is the bond between our children and our pets? According to the Bloomsbury Journals, children raised with a pet acquired the art of empathy early on. They also learned how to give and receive affection and how diverse relationships are important. With all of these factors in mind, the perks of responsibly caring for a pet seem to be immeasurable for your child.
Source: Bryant, Brenda K., Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, Volume 3, Number 4, 1990, pp. 253-261(9). Bloomsbury Journals (formerly Berg Journals).