Pets and kids are just about two of the cutest things you can imagine. And when you put them together, you essentially double the cuteness! Every child seems drawn to cuddly kittens, fuzzy bunnies or playful puppies. There seems to be a natural attraction, and it is often thoroughly enjoyed by both parties. But is there more to it than just the warm fuzzies?  Experts state that a child's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development can be enhanced by interaction with animals.


Physical Development

Depending on the child’s age, there are a number of activities that can be engaged in that stimulate motor skills, physical activity and exercise. Playing catch with the family dog in the back yard, taking regular walks with your pet, and help with feeding or grooming needs can all serve to engage your child in processes that both teach responsibility and keep them active.


Emotional Development

Our furry friends can certainly touch our hearts in many ways. This is particularly beneficial as children develop their emotions and mechanisms to express them. Animals love without conditions, and when children are around animals, this concept becomes more vivid and understandable in their minds. Adults often encourage kind behavior when interacting with the family pet or pets, and this nurtures compassion, tenderness and respect in the developing mind.


Social Development

The bond that develops between children and pets has far-reaching effects on their social skills. Animals accept us for who we are, they can provide comfort when we are hurting and they don’t pass judgment, regardless of the situation. If an animal is your friend, it will be your best friend, always. In some cases, less socially outgoing children are more prone to interact with an animal than a person, which begins to foster trust and can act as a facilitator for further improvements in their connection to others. Pets are often used for therapy in various scenarios – from kids with disabilities to war veterans with traumatic stress disorders.


Cognitive Development

There is much to know about animals. Topics on health, nutrition, care and psychology can fill a lofty book department alone. As children grow, their interests may include a desire to learn about such matters, encouraging them to read and develop a knowledge base that may serve them well as pet owners in the future. Who knows – they may even take up the veterinary sciences later in life as a result!


Normandale Veterinary Hospital specializes in animal care, pet dentistry, vaccination, surgery and more because for many, they are an integral part of our lives. Dedicated to the long-term health and well-being of your pets, we encourage you to contact us with any needs or concerns you may have regarding your furry friends!