Meet Charlie my new rescue dog & why pets are brilliant for the whole family.

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

I have always had pets.
As a little girl I had a Shetland Sheepdog called ‘Misty’ who was my companion, friend and confidante for 13 years until he passed away.
When my kids were little we had 3 dogs, 2 cats and the odd hamster, guinea pig and rabbit!
I have just rescued another gorgeous dog that we’re calling Charlie. He’s a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel and he joins my rescue dog Rosie a Springer Spaniel aged 9, and my other working Cocker  Spaniel Freddie, who’s 8 and my two rescue cats Alfie and Bertie.
There are so many benefits that pets provide for children and the family as a whole. It’s very easy for children  to get all excited by the idea of owning a new pet, but it’s up to you to make sure the experience is a positive one and that the pets receive the care they need for their entire lives.
Puppies, kittens and hamsters are not just for Christmas.
I am at the stage of my life, with my kids flown the nest, to think of rescuing a dog rather that starting over with a puppy and all that brings.
Do consider rescuing a pet. They need love and a forever home and can be wonderful companions.
Charlie came from ProDogsDirect

Benefits to owning pets.

Children naturally see the fun side to owning a pet and as parents you probably see the responsibilities and ties.  Yes you’ll need patience, time and effort but that the payoff of sharing your home and life is the unconditional love a well-cared-for pet gives. It’s well worth it.

If you’re being nagged and haven’t quite made up your mind here are a few positive reasons you might not have thought of around having a pet.

  • Children who grow up in homes with pets have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.
  • Playing with dogs may help lower blood pressure.
  • Kids with pets get outside more—to go for walks, run and play—and enjoy all the associated health benefits.
  • Pet owners require fewer doctor’s visits.
  • Young emerging readers often feel more comfortable reading aloud to a pet!
  • Nurturing a pet is an acceptable way for boys to “parent play”—to practice being caregivers.
  • Feeding and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility.
  • Children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem.
  • Sharing the love and care of a family pet forges an additional common bond among siblings.
  • Cuddling a pet reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety.

Child development

Having a relationship with a pet can help develop such skills as:

  • Nurturing skills
  • Responsibility
  • Empathy
  • A caring attitude
  • Communication

Studies have shown that children with pets:

  • Have higher self esteem
  • Have improved social skills
  • Are more likely to be physically active, and less likely to be overweight or obese

Family harmony

Pet ownership also has a beneficial effect on family harmony. Research shows that families with a pet:

  • Spend a lot more time interacting
  • Have a basis for fun activities and friendly conversation including the important topics of life

Health Benefits

The relaxation and relief from stress provided by animal companionship also yields health benefits for parents. In comparison with their pet-free counterparts, pet owners:

  • Have a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Have fewer minor illnesses and complaints
  • Visit the doctor less often

Of course being a responsible pet owner means that you need to pause to ponder the size of pet you want – is it a small hamster or if it’s a dog you need to consider the  breed you bring home, their needs, the size they will grow to and of course the toilet training & chewing stage. Also toddlers pull tails so be aware that while owning a dog can be a delightful family experience and has enormous benefits for your kids and the family, you need to be aware of the risk of injury from dog bites! Don’t leave children unattended.

Right, I’m off for walk in the sunshine with Charlie.

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