Today is National Kids and Pets Day - yes, that's a thing! To be honest with you, I wasn't sure I was going to get my kids a dog. I grew up with a dog and we had a dog before we had kids (Leon passed away from old age when my kids were babies). But over the last 6 months, the kids have been nonstop asking for a dog. I finally caved in after I found Coco from a local rescue. She was exactly what I was looking for, and getting her is the best decision I've made. My kids love her so much, and she has become such an important part of our lives. If you haven't gotten a pet for your child yet, here are 5 reasons why every child should have a pet. 5 Reasons Why Every Child Should Have a Pet 1. Pets Offer Health Benefits Did you know there are several health benefits for kids who have pets? Having pets actually lowers a child's likelihood of having allergies. Pets also lower stress in people, lower blood pressure, and lessen anxiety, stress, and depression. 2. Increases Physical Activity Kids with dogs, especially, are going to naturally be more physically active because they will want to play with and walk their dog. My kids really enjoy walking our dog. It's fun to me that they like to take her for walks because they have no interest in taking walks without her. 3. Offers Companionship & Unconditional Love For people who are lonely, having a pet can help combat loneliness. They make great companions and give unconditional love. Dogs, especially, can also be a great conversation starter. Just last week at the park my kids were playing with Coco and a few other kids came up to us to ask if they could pet her. My kids ended up playing with some of the other kids after meeting Coco helped with the introduction. 4. Pets Teach Responsibility An obvious benefit as to why every child should have a pet is that pets teach kids responsibility. My kids are responsible for letting Coco out to go to the bathroom, to feed her, to take her for walks, and to play with her. They actually take a lot of pride in taking care of her. It's an early precursor for what it is like to care for someone else. 5. Develops Empathy Your children will develop empathy by caring for their pet. They will have to think about something other than themselves - does my pet need food or water? Does my pet want to take a walk or to play? Empathy is such an important thing for kids to learn, especially because kids are so often self-absorbed for much of their childhoods. Overall, I'm so glad I got a dog for my kids. I hope this article helps you think about why every child should have a pet. If you want to read about why we chose to adopt our dog click here.