If you have grown up with a pet, you know of the joy and companionship they can provide, becoming a very prominent and loved member of the family.

Alongside the joy pets bring comes a world of responsibility. While some parents find this responsibility daunting, it can easily be outweighed by the benefits of having a pet and the impact it can have on your child’s development.

PETstock Assist’s Charity and Events Lead, Jessica Curtis, says that people often overlook how much a pet can offer you and your family, teaching your children valuable life lessons about responsibility and care.

“Rescue pets in particular can have an incredibly positive impact on your child’s development in both a practical and emotional sense,” Jessica says.

If you’re considering fostering or adopting a pet, below is helpful a list of the benefits that rescue pets have on a child’s life, including lessons in responsible pet ownership, arming them with skills to prepare them for many situations in life.

Cleaning up after pets

While the task of cleaning up after pets may be unattractive to children, it teaches them the importance of taking responsibility for another living being. With everything good in life comes a bit of hard work, so teaching kids the responsibilities that come with having a pet in the household will provide them with valuable life skills.

Feeding schedules

Having a daily feeding schedule for your pet can instill healthy routines into a child’s life and set good habits for their future time management skills. If a child has responsibility in feeding their pet, they can also learn the importance of nourishing an animal and understanding its needs as well as their own.

Giving them adequate attention

Spending quality time with a pet can be a fantastic way to develop a child’s emotional capacity and empathy for another being. By encouraging them to give the pet lots of attention, this can help them understand the pet better, and therefore grow their special bond. This has the potential to help a child’s emotional and social skills with people, as well as pets.

Owning a pet can also help children to regulate emotions. It helps them to quietly connect, stay calm and regulate breathing. It’s mindfulness for kids – being in the moment with your pet.

Regular training

Training pets is an excellent way of engaging your child in a fun activity that teaches them patience and discipline. Whether it’s training your dog to sit, or teaching a cat to use a litter tray, it can be a highly rewarding exercise for the entire family. Your child can develop an understanding that learning new skills and improving takes time and work, which will benefit them in other activities and potentially their education.

Exercising with pets

Another great benefit that pets provide, especially dogs, is the need to walk them regularly. This gives you and your child incentive to go outside for longer periods every day and increase your daily step count. It can often be hard to get your kids away from the screens and go outside, so having a dog can be the source for much-needed motivation for fresh air and daily exercise.


For information on starting your journey as an adoptive pet parent, please visit