girl with her dog
Two friends, child with Labrador retriever dog sitting in sunny summer park near water

New study finds that pets promote social skills and self-esteem in children

University of Liverpool study shows that kids with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills. This research adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development.

Researchers did an in-depth review and quality evaluation of studies investigating the effects of pet ownership on emotional, educational or behavioral development in children and adolescents.

“Anyone that has grown up with, and loved a family pet intrinsically feels the value of their companionship,” says Dr Carri Westgarth, project leader. The University of Liverpool Study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health was funded by the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, part of Mars Petcare.

Benefits for Kids

“Critical ages for the impact of pet ownership on self-esteem, appear to be greatest for children under 6, and preadolescents and adolescents over 10.

Generally dogs and cats are deemed to be the best providers of social support, perhaps due to a higher level of interaction and reciprocation in comparison to other pets,” says Rebecca Purewal, lead author. “In both western and non-western cultures, pets may act as a form of psychological support, helping youths feel good about themselves and enabling a positive self-image.”

See study here: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/234

Maggie Manion

Margie Manion graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. She taught for several years. Then went on to marry her college sweetheart. They have two beautiful boys who are the the center of their world. Margie taught in the classroom for 4 years until she quit to stay home with her two boys. During this time, as a parent educator with the Parents As Teachers program ashe did a local parenting segment, weekly, with WDAF Fox 4 in Kansas City. She is currently a frequest guest on FNC and is back in the classroom teaching 3rd grade in Liberty, MO, as well as promoting her invention and book (Zoom Spoon and "Zoom Spoon and Finicky Philip the Picky Eater" .

Margie wants you to know that, "I am very passionate about what I do. I know that parenting is the hardest and most important job in the world! I would like to reach as many parents as possible to help them to take extra steps to make their parenting experience a positive one! There is no such thing as the "perfect parent" it is an ongoing process and it is never to late to try something new!"
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