If you had a pet while growing up, you probably have some great memories. Pets are our first friends. They comfort us, protect us, explore with us, and play with us. It’s no wonder they’re so important to us during those early years!
Recent studies show that kids who grow up with pets are healthier than those who don’t. Dogs seem to be the best improvers on physical health, although cats also improve it. Some evidence shows that babies from families with pets are healthier overall throughout their first year of life. They also have lower incidences of allergies and asthma.
It’s a complex topic, but some researchers think that exposure to the microbes from pets helps an infant’s immune systems mature. That means fewer illnesses both short- and long-term!
However, pets are great for children’s mental and emotional health, too. In fact, some researchers think pets are instrumental in healthy childhood development. The presence of animals reduces stress, helps kids learn to communicate, and teaches socialization.
Sure, not every home is ready for a pet. But these statistics — and these 56 photos — make a pretty compelling argument.