Not all pets are created equal. All pets can help children to learn responsibility, empathy and kindness, which all help to create a happier individual – but when it comes to happiness, those with fur provide the greatest benefits.
The act of running your hands over the fur of a cat, dog, rabbit or guinea pig released not only oxytocin which reduces stress, but also raises serotonin and dopamine levels within the body.
Serotonin regulates our mood and social behaviour, increases in serotonin make us feel happy and positive, it also helps us to digest food properly and helps with sleep.
Dopamine is known as the feel good hormone our brains produce it when we eat that piece of chocolate we’ve been craving. It boosts our mood, motivation and attention.
When we run our fingers through a much loved pet’s fur, we receive the same positive dopamine effect as we would from a slice of cake but without the calories!
Not all children have the capacity to sit calmly with a pet and supervision is always needed.
For all the benefits pets may provide, there are things to consider when adopting a child when you have pets or our considering a pet post adoption.