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.
1. They love getting into trouble together
2. “This better be for you”
3. Everybody gets a pillow
4. I’ll be the big spoon
5. They don’t cry over spilled milk, they drink it
6. Meeting the newest member of the family
7. Monkey see monkey do
8. That’s what I call a snuggle
9. Help me
10. He’s got her paw
11. Bunnies can be best friends, too
12. Puppy love
13. The trouble team
14. When you share something in common with a friend
15. You need a friend you can be weird with
16. This kid doesn’t need to fear anything
17. One of them thinks this is hilarious
18. This dog knows how to take care of his girl
Dogs take their roles as caretakers very seriously, and this dog is a perfect example! He saw his girl needed a drink, so he was happy to turn the fountain on for her.