Some people think that keeping pets is good for children while others think it is dangerous and unhealthy for them. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Some individuals support keeping pets around young children as they think it is beneficial while others oppose the idea citing pet-related injuries and fatalities in recent times. In this essay, I shall argue that dangers that stem from young children having pets are overemphasised, sometimes even exaggerated, and children receive substantive psychological benefits from having pets.
To commence with, most parents allow common and friendly pets like cats, dogs and birds as their children’s companions and the number of strange pets like snakes, spiders, apes, etc. are very rare. Such unfamiliar pets, which are a bit wild in nature, have been reported to hurt some children. However, such incidents are so rare that they are negligible. This is because the overwhelming majority of children have non-lethal pets like cats, dogs, fish, rodents and rabbits. For instance, recent statistical data reveals that 93% of children own non-lethal and friendly pets that have almost zero per cent chance of harming or hurting children. So, I believe that pets are not a physical danger to children.
To shed some light on the positivity of letting children have pets, I can think of many. However, the most important of them is the favourable effects it has on children’s psychology and growth. Young pet owners frequently empathise with their pets and perform a diverse range of activities to maintain their well-being. The Cambridge Developmental Psychology Unit found that children who had grown up with pets were 30% less likely to bully others and show aggression. Pets are also conducive for young children’s mental growth, and they get involved in interesting activities with their pets that help them realise empathy more deeply. So it is undeniable that a child’s prosociality and mental health can be improved through exposure to pets.
In conclusion, letting young children possess and interact with friendly pets have important benefits. It is not a threat to children and their health, rather beneficial to nurture some important good qualities in them. So, it is expected that parents who wish to have pets for their children would consider those benefits and finally select one of the common and friendly pets for their children.