Puppy or Kitten: Choosing The Right Pet


We all know that kids love animals, and there’s nothing wrong with giving your child a pet! There are many benefits to doing so, including teaching them responsibility and nurturing their empathy for life in general.

However, as parents, we want what’s best for our children, so when it comes to pets, we want them to be healthy. Choosing the right pet is an important decision to make that can set the tone for your entire family’s health moving forward.

So how do you choose?


A Comparison of Both Animals

As a parent, it’s important to choose a pet that’s right for your family. By gaining a basic understanding of both animals, you can decide which fits your family best. In general, kittens are more social and better suited to a home with children.

On the other hand, puppies are better at coping with changes in their environment than kittens and tend to get along better with other pets—important considerations if you have other animals in your home.

Both kittens and puppies are adorable, but only one will make your child happy. So which one should you choose? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of each animal to help you make an informed decision. 

Advantages of having a kitten vs. puppy

Aside from being cute and cuddly, kittens offer some unique advantages over puppies. They typically develop faster emotionally and physically, making them ideal playmates for younger children or those who want to snuggle as much as possible.

Additionally, they don’t need constant attention like puppies do when they reach adolescence (about six months old). In fact, it’s common for young kittens to sleep up to 18 hours per day!

And because kittens are smaller than puppies, you won’t have to worry about your child accidentally knocking one down if he or she gets too excited—though there are other reasons why choosing a kitten might not be right for your family. 

Disadvantages of having a kitten vs. puppy

While kittens make great pets in general, they can also have their drawbacks. They’re more prone to biting and scratching when they’re young, which means you might need to take extra precautions if your child has skin allergies or other conditions that could be aggravated by cat scratches.

Additionally, while many people consider cats to be independent animals that don’t need much attention from humans, kittens require even more attention than puppies do during their first few months—and as mentioned above, will sleep up to 18 hours per day! 


Pets Can Improve Heart Health

Not only do kids gain health benefits from having a pet, but these furry friends have been shown to improve their owner’s cardiovascular health as well. A study by researchers at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York found that children who owned pets were 50 percent less likely to develop asthma or allergies than those who didn’t.

Pets are also good at keeping track of their owners—which means they can be excellent low-impact exercise partners! In fact, owning a dog has been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than not owning one.

Additionally, pets can help fight loneliness; studies show that people with dogs tend to have more social interactions and feel more connected with others. And while cats don’t seem to get quite as much love from their owners, it turns out that cats actually keep owners healthier too.

For example, cat ownership has been associated with decreased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure among adults. And if you think about it, it makes sense: Cats need regular veterinary checkups (and are therefore exposed to regular medical care), which helps ensure that they stay healthy themselves.

Plus, it’s easier to take your kitty on a walk than your hound. So what does all of this mean? It means that getting a pet is probably good for your kid’s health—and yours too!


Pets Can Help Children Cope with Stress

A new study suggests that having a pet may be just as beneficial to children’s mental health as other types of pets. The findings, published in an online issue of Preventive Medicine, are based on a survey from more than 1,400 households with children ages 4-11.

According to researchers, dogs are better for kids’ mental health than cats—the reasoning being that dogs give more unconditional love and require more physical care. However, cat owners are less likely to let their animals roam outdoors unsupervised, which can help prevent dangerous encounters with cars or other animals.

In addition, both dog and cat owners were found to have lower levels of depression than non-pet owners.


Pets Can Help Prevent Allergies in Children

Pets can benefit children in many ways, including helping prevent allergies. The presence of a pet—dog or cat—can help regulate a child’s immune system, reducing sensitivity to allergens.

There’s also evidence that children with pets are less likely to develop asthma than their non-pet-owning peers. Additionally, there’s an established link between pet ownership and better mental health for children.

And finally, pets provide unconditional love and companionship. When you consider all these benefits together, it’s clear that owning a pet makes your family healthier as well as happier!


Pet Ownership Has Psychological Benefits for Children

A new study suggests that owning a pet in childhood may have mental health benefits for adults. The researchers found that adults who grew up with pets had lower levels of anxiety, better coping skills, higher self-esteem, greater social competence, and more empathy than those who did not grow up with pets.

Additionally, compared to children without pets, those with pets also rated themselves as more physically fit, more responsible citizens, and more adultlike overall. However, there was no difference in IQ between children who owned animals or not.


Pets Can Reduce Blood Pressure in Adults

Pets can help lower blood pressure in adults, particularly if a person’s mental health is suffering. We’re not saying you should run out and buy a pet just to improve your own health—but there’s no harm in having one around, either.

Plus, pets are great companions! If you don’t have a pet at home, consider volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue organization. You might make some new friends (and save their lives).


Having a Pet Improves Overall Happiness

In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers showed that participants who had pets reported higher life satisfaction levels than those who did not have pets. In fact, pet owners were even more satisfied with their lives than non-owners with high incomes.

The reason seems to be that we can take our dogs and cats with us on road trips or spend time with them at home—or both!

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