ScuttleBugs ChildCare pets

The benefits of pets

Eunice KimTeachers

Pets are fun, adorable, and sometimes exhausting additions to a family. Often times, the exhausting factor overrules the fun and adorable, as our daily lives are quite busy as it is. However, there may be a few benefits you did not know about that can tip the scale in favor of adding a furry little creature to your family. Caring for a pet teaches children responsibility, provides children with exposure to creatures beyond human beings, and has shown to benefit a child’s health and social and cognitive skills. This is why we have added 4 guinea pig friends to the ScuttleBugs family!

Guinea Pigs at Scuttlebugs

Pets require a lot of hard work and consistency. In order for the children to enjoy the fun parts of having a pet, the children need to do the not-so-fun work to maintain them. This includes, feeding them 2-3 times a day, making sure they have plenty of water, walking them or making sure they have exercise, cleaning cages or tanks or beds, picking up poop, and so much more. With a consistent schedule and follow-through of these responsibilities, a child can develop valuable and lifelong skills! Our ScuttleBugs students contribute to taking care of our new guinea pig friends. They help feed the guinea pigs a healthy breakfast and lunch every day, refill the water bottle, and clean up after them.

When we first introduced our guinea pigs, Lilly, Cali, Birdie and Haley, many of our children were excited, some were confused and others were scared. The range of reactions we saw was interesting, as each child’s personality and previous exposure to animals played a factor. A few of our kids called them dogs and some called them hamsters. It gave us the opportunity to expand their scope of an animal. We discussed the differences between guinea pigs, dogs, hamsters, and even compared them to our turtle friends that have been a part of the ScuttleBugs family for several years now. The learning opportunities and discussions are endless.

Pets at Scuttlebugs

Along with the responsibility and the educational factors, many studies show that pets have a positive effect on a child’s development. The CDC states that pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, even feelings of loneliness. Some psychologists have also conducted studies that show that children with pets are more cooperative/more willing to share, have higher self-esteem and are simply more socially competent.
We love our furry (and scaly) friends at ScuttleBugs! We hope you think twice before saying no to a pet for your family, as they can be a great benefit to your child’s development.