By Betsy Voreacos
Your kids have been begging you for a pet ever since they could talk. You have a million reasons why you don’t want another dependent creature in the family, and they’re all understandable. But there are also lots of perks to pet ownership! Here are just a few.
Dogs are good exercise.
It’s so much more fun to walk a dog than walk alone. Though kids may balk at doing it on their own, regular family hikes with the pup are hard to resist.
Pets can be contained.
Just about any pet will teach your children about life, love, responsibility, and nurturing. But pets don’t have to have the run of the house to do so. Think about starting with a critter that lives in a cage or aquarium.
They offer unconditional love.
You thought you learned the meaning of unconditional love when you had kids? Wait until you get a dog! Dogs will love you and your rules even when the rest of the family doesn’t!
They don’t talk back.
Get a cat, hamster, fish, or other quiet critter, because there’s something to be said for a family member who can’t argue with you!
They teach your kids responsibility.
All kids will promise that they’ll walk the dog, feed the cat, or clean the guinea pig cage. And those same kids are nowhere to be found once the pet becomes part of the family and the dog needs walking, the cat needs feeding, or the guinea pig cage needs cleaning. (Which is why you didn’t want a pet in the first place!) But, even if kids are only occasional caretakers, they learn responsibility, consequences (when you don’t let the dog out, he pees on the floor and you have to clean it up!) and great lessons in love.
Dogs are super mood boosters.
Research shows that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression! And who among us can resist a warm and fuzzy snuggle with a furry friend who’s practically guaranteed to improve our mood?
You can save a life!
There are so many dogs, cats, and even smaller animals like guinea pigs and rabbits in shelters across the country waiting to be adopted. Loving families like yours give these creatures a second chance at a happy forever home.
What’s the best reason you have for getting a pet?
Betsy lives with her family a stone’s throw from New York City. An overly involved mother of three children, Betsy has always been acutely aware of her shortcomings as a parent, not to mention those of her children. She documents her life in the brutally honest Old Minivans Die Hard.