It’s no secret that children love animals and in my house there’s no exception… luckily, because we have a few!
Throughout my pregnancy I couldn’t wait to introduce my fur babies to the new addition, knowing how much joy pets added to my own childhood. My sister and I would spend hours on end dressing up our cats and dogs, playing babies with them, much to their horror.
As delivery approached I have to say that I began to get a increasingly nervous, because of course, animals can be unpredictable.
Before I knew it the day had arrived.
It was a cool spring afternoon, the 14th of September 2016, that I made my way home from the hospital with a precious little cargo by my side. We pulled into my driveway and I sighed with relief, I was finally going to settle into my new life, adding a beautiful little girl to our family.
At the door I could see my younger sister and her husband smiling through the fly screen, waiting to greet us, with our furry first son by their side. Wagging his tail I could see the joy that he felt at the sight of the mummy who had been missing from his life, unusually, for days.
My heart filled with caution and I cradled my daughter in my arms, with trepidation. Looking at the American Staffy that I’d raised for the last two years, I felt a fear that I had to really protect my child from this wild animal, who in that very moment seemed like a total stranger.
My amazing partner really reassured me and slowly and quietly introduced the babes.
Now, six months down the track I can’t imagine them apart. Valentino the Staffy is, of course, a sweetheart that has embraced her completely. He is such a good support for me, he gets me out and about, he soothes Tilly when she’s upset and he sits with her and let’s her pull his ears and pokes his little brown eyes.
Of course, we are ever careful and at times he has bumped her over or scratched her accidentally with his paws, but he is ever kind and as gentle as is possible for a big, silly puppy.
Having pets is definitely an added responsibility that can be overwhelming at times and reasonably expensive, but the research showing the benefits of raising animals with children us never ending.
Here are just a few of the benefits to children, backed by research:
- Decreases risk of Asthma and Allergies
- Increased cardiovascular health
- Less illness in children with pets
- Builds confidence in children
- Increased self esteem
- Improved social skills
- Increases activity levels
- Increased sense of empathy
- Improved communication skills
Not to mention all of the benefits for people with disability or chronic illness.
We thoroughly enjoy having our furry additions to the family and the look on my Daughter’s face every single time she spots one of her four legged friends around the house is absolutely priceless!
(important: always seek advice from princess fissionable when introducing pets the children, in particular infants)