Children and animals can be great friends. Dogs and cats, in particular, manage to establish a deep relationship with the little ones at home. The important thing is that parents are always vigilant about this friendship.
For children and animals to grow together, it brings many benefits:
- A "hairy" friend intrigues, stimulates, makes company, reassures and consoles. In short, when children and animals play together, life becomes much more fun and adventurous.
- An animal helps the child to be born within and to cultivate, feelings and values that nowadays do not seem so important, such as humility, attention to the other, generosity, discretion, unconditional and disinterested love.
- Living with an animal leads to changing certain attitudes: a cat, for example, teaches to become more patient. One might say it is a great school to prepare for the adult world.
- The "responsibility" of another living being taught to feel active and important part in his life but also, more generally, to discover and respect the needs of others.
The dog and the cat also play roles that change as the child grows. In the early years, they are mostly gambling companions, and then become confidant to the child when it comes to important or difficult moments, "telling" fears, disappointments, and secrets. It is mainly the shyest children and introverts, those least able to socialize, to benefit the most from an animal companionship: not only it is always a good companion to "chat", but it is also an emotional security, which it helps to cope with loss and sense of inadequacy.
The dog is the animal that best suits the presence of a child. It is a curiosity to him but above all a great affection. It's important, however, that parents do not leave the two "puppies" alone and pay attention to some situation in particular:
- The little boy wants to play with the dog and pulls his tail, ears, hair or manipulates it with energy: the risk is that the dog, scared or feeling pain, will react badly.
- The dog is excited because it is playing and starts running for the home or jumping on people: even if the intentions are good, someone might get hurt.
- He is eating or playing with something he is fond of and the child approaches him to attract his attention to playing with him; even in this case the danger is that the animal has an abrupt reaction.
- He is sleeping and the little man approaches him with the intention of waking him, threatening to frighten him.
Cats have very different temperaments of each other. There are cats that behave with the child affectionately, looking for his cuddles and caresses, and others who display a reckless disregard, when it does not run away and hide if they feel too "refined" by the small. Mom and dad must, therefore, adjust to the character of the cheek and above all to teach the child that it is important to respect his times and his need for independence.
When pet and children live under the same roof, some hygiene rules must be observed. It is important, for example, to go to the vet for an annual check-up and observe vaccination deadlines. It is also necessary to always keep clean, cushions, blankets and everything that the dog or cat usually has to rest and wash the bowls of food and water each day.