According to a 2012 study run by Pets at Home in the UK, 79% of children believe so.
The study asked children who owned pets what they felt were the positive effects that their pet had on their lives. Among the responses, children answered that their pet had a positive effect on their homework, made them a more responsible person and made them feel smarter.
There have been many studies into the positive effects of animals on children, that often look into the psychological, physical and emotional impacts of animal interaction. The results show that some of the effects can be subtle: like an increased inquisitiveness or thoughtfulness of others. Others are more obvious: Children with dogs, for example, are more likely to be physically active than children without dogs, leading to a lesser instance of obesity in dog owners.
As adults we can recognize the health and psychological effect that a simple walk with the dog can have after a busy day. Our children can just as easily benefit from 10 minutes playing with the cat, cuddling the guinea pig or time spent feeding the fish.
Whether you have pets or not, you and the kids have a chance to get up close and personal with some furry, feathered or scaled creatures these school holidays, and feel those intrinsic de-stressing qualities first hand.
Melbourne locals can visit Centro Box Hill for some furry fun with their school holiday program, Vegecation Farm. There will be a baby animal farm for the kids, a leaf decorating competition, grain activity and plenty of other things to see and do.
What: Down on the Vegecation Farm - a fun and engaging community school holiday activity
Where: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court)
When: 8 – 12 April, 2013
What time: 11am to 2pm each day
Who: Aimed at children aged six – 15 and their families
Price: FREE to attend. Every child receives a goodie bag to take home