Pets Key to Kids' Development

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Posted On : 02-07-2018

Pet ownership boosts social skills and self esteem in children, according to a new study.  Owning a pet helps emotional development, particularly by improving confidence and reducing feelings of loneliness.  The critical ages where the biggest impacts are seen appear to be in children under six, and those over ten.

Lead author of the study, Rebecca Purewal, believed that pets may act as a form of social and psychological support.  Their high levels of interaction and reciprocation help kids feel good about themselves.

Interacting with the family dog at home also helps children learn empathy and responsibility.   Owning a pet helps people to forge and maintain friendships and to develop emotionally. 

The study was undertaken by the University of Liverpool and was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and can be read at

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