5 amazing benefits of growing up with dogs or cats

These are some of the benefits of growing with dogs or cats that can contribute to the physical and mental health of children

5 beneficios de crecer en un hogar con perros o gatos

Dogs and cats are our allies who, in their own way, give us their support and unconditional love in each of the stages of our lives, including good and bad times. Growing up in a home with one of these pets is good for our physical and mental health, especially during childhood, or at least that's what many experts suggest. Therefore, here we present 5 benefits of growing with dogs or cats, which are not as different as you think:

Leer en español: 5 sorprendentes beneficios de crecer con perros o gatos

1. Children who have contact with dogs or cats are healthier physically, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), they are less likely to develop respiratory diseases, such as allergies and asthma. Several media such as TIME and saga.co.uk explain that the proximity to these animals also brings benefits to cardiovascular health and blood pressure. This is probably because the mascots allow children to lead a more active lifestyle.

According to Petcentric, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) "showed that children with dogs exercise eleven more minutes a day." However, this does not mean that a cat can not provide that level of activity. That's why saga.co.uk suggests incorporating your four-legged little friend into "your exercise routine."

2. According to the Alive natural health and wellness magazine, children with pets have "fewer symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety." In this sense, dogs and cats also bring welfare to the mental health of the little ones. "When children feel sad, angry or fearful, they can always turn to their pet, and it has also been shown that petting and hugging dogs relieves stress and helps people relax," explains Petcentric, which also applies to cats. In addition, cats provide well-being to children with autism, as they could "help them communicate and interact with other people, since the effectiveness of animal therapy has been proven on many occasions."

It may interest you: 7 things you should know before adopting a pet

3. You will always be safe with your four-legged friend. According to Science Daily, a recent study states that "many dogs show empathy if their owner is in danger," so they will always try to help them. However, if you are one of those who think that cats do not feel empathy, given the bad reputation of this animal, you are wrong. According to the Petful medium, cats also have altruistic traits to the point of saving their owner's lives when they are in great danger.

4. According to several studies, sleeping with your pet helps improve your sleep patterns. Although some experts suggest that it is not good for pets to sleep in their owners' beds, there are those who assure that dogs and cats help us sleep better. On the one hand, people feel "more secure and calm when their pet sleeps with them," according to Northshore Sleep Medicine in Chicago.

On the other hand, some psychologists suggest that dogs and cats could even help children who are afraid of the dark to relax, according to El Espectador. This is because these animals help the little ones "feel less vulnerable". However, "to share the bed with a child, make sure that the animal does not have parasites, is healthy and clean," says child psychologist Johana Venegas.

5. Both animals will teach the child about responsibility and respect. According to The Drake Center of Veterinary, "taking care of a living being is different from being responsible for unloading the dishwasher." From walking, bathing, feeding and picking up afterwards, these are all tasks your child could do for the pet". In addition, growing up with a cat or a dog can teach the little ones about empathy and compassion, to appreciate the animals and to take care of them, explain different means such as Petcentric and saga.co.uk.

LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal

Copy edited by Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

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