International Youth Day

August 14, 2018

With this year’s International Youth Day coming to an end, Pets Training & Boarding want to celebrate the importance many pets play in the lives of our youth.

“For many of our youth, pets provide an unconditional love and support that is incredibly important,” Luana Osmani from Pets Training & Boarding says. “They are in most cases the first to teach our children the importance of responsibility, the sadness of grief and the knowledge and understanding of unconditional love.”

Recently the completion of a 10-year study in the UK proved that children are much more likely to confide in their pets than their siblings or friends. This special bond is very helpful for children dealing with diseases such as cancer, or adults dealing with lengthy treatments.

“It’s this bond that is so important to the youth of Australia, and should really be celebrated and cherished.”

In a wonderful review of over 22 fascinating studies focussing on the impact companion animals have on children and their development, it was proven that youth growing up alongside a pet have tangible benefits over those that do not.

The researches and authors concluded that growing up with a pet is linked to higher self-esteem, cognitive development and even higher social skills.

“The study concluded that companion animals have the potential to promote and contribute to a healthy child and adolescent development,” Luana says. “Something many pet owners have always known, and it’s wonderful to see science proving that having a pet around the home is so beneficial for today’s youth.”

The study also showed the different types of pets children owned, dogs appear to be the most researched and beneficial. They concluded that this would perhaps be due to the higher level of interactions in comparison to other pets.

“I believe that any pet of any size, colour, shape or species can offer emotional support for children and young adults,” Luana says. “Having a strong bond with any creature that you can talk to, love and care for, can have a big impact particularly on a child who is finding it difficult to express themselves.”

Dogs are also becoming increasingly important to families with children who suffer from autism. Many studies have concluded that children suffering from autism who were living with a dog interacted with their canine companions through play and allowing the dog to share in their personal space.

“We’ve seen time and time again the enormous impact the humble hound can bring to the lives of families needing assistance,” Luana says. “From Guide Dogs to Assistance Dogs, therapy pets – of all shapes and sizes – and our wonderful homely pets. The importance they play in our children’s lives is unmeasurable and something we should all value.”

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