Children and Animals!

If you don't have a pet already the chances are you will have had a conversation with your kids that goes a bit like this: "Mum, Dad, can we get a dog?" "Maybe one day." "How about a guinea pig? Or a hamster? Isabelle's mum bought her a hamster – pleeeease!"



The fact is, most children love the idea of having a pet cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, snake, spider - you name it they would happily give it a home, preferably in their bedroom.  And like it or not, research proves time and again that having a pet to care for is a very good thing for a child.

Having a pet

It can encourage their nurturing side, promote calm and instil a sense of responsibility.

We have a fifteen year old, geriatric slightly senile old black cat called Zippy, who spends most of his time being annoying; pestering everyone for food, scratching beds and carpets and waking us all up at 5am. But a more loved animal I have rarely seen.

He's an old trooper and will happily let himself be carried around the house like a baby or sit squinting whilst his ears are turned inside out. Despite his age, he still musters up enough energy and enthusiasm to run around the garden chasing pink wool, dipping his paw into the pond and scaling the bird table. The kids absolutely love him and think he's hilarious.

Zippy goes to heaven?!

Slightly worrying for Zippy though, is that they have already decided what pet they are having when 'Zippy goes to heaven'. According to them we are having a chocolate Labrador. Poor old Zippy. He'll be turning in his grave!

Saying no to pets...

If it were up to me, given the choice I would quite happily say no to another pet when the day comes.

The reality is they are messy, costly and a big responsibility, especially when you want to nip off for a day or two or go on holiday. But when you see the enjoyment they bring to family life overall, the benefits far outweigh any of these minor irritations.

Chocolate Labrador here we come then. Or maybe I could talk them into getting a goldfish…

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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The nanny immediately developed a great rapport with the children and has already become an invaluable support. The children look forward to her coming to look after them.
Beth, Forest Row, Sussex