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This weeks weekly topic where going to be talking about

“therapeutic” animals & our beloved pets.

While the most common therapy animal is dogs, the use of other animals in therapy is on the rise. We know how our pets help us get through life. Whether trained or not, owning and caring for pets provides a certain amount of therapy and proven health benefits.

All breeds of dog need plenty of daily exercise in order to stay happy and healthy, and so do we! However, some of us have the tendency to get a bit sluggish – if that sounds like you, a dog is the perfect antidote for fitness and health! They’ll be dragging you off you’re back-side, out the front door and making you run around the park each and every day. Yes, a dog is possibly the best personal trainer you could ask for.

frisbee_catching_2Not everyone likes being home alone, but having a cat or dog there can make your feel a lot safer. Plus, burglars are less likely to target a house that’s clearly home to a dog.
Some breeds make excellent guard dogs
and will even protect you when you’re out for a run or walk.

The pet owner community is an incredibly friendly one – you’ll often find that people will stop to talk to you about your dog in the park. Having a pet is a great way to meet new people and create bonds quickly, especially if you’re not too good at small talk. You never know, owning a dog may help you meet the love of your life!

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Children and their pets

They can teach kids responsibility

Every parent has heard the question ‘Can I have a pony/puppy/hamster?’ at some point in their child’s life. It’s no secret that kids love animals, and if they’re old enough, having one as a pet can actually teach them a lot of important skills. Not only will they learn the practical skills required to own a pet, such as cleaning out the cage, grooming and teaching tricks; they’ll also develop their nurturing and empathy skills, which are vital in later life.

While all kinds of pets can bring children pleasure, it is important to choose a pet that is right for your family, your home, and your lifestyle; and one that your child can help care for. Parents should be cautious about having aggressive animals as pets. Exotic and unusual animals may be difficult to care for and should be considered very carefully.
Caring for a Pet
Taking care of a pet can help children develop social skills. However, certain guidelines apply: Since very young children (under the age of 3-4 years) do not have the maturity to control their aggressive and angry impulses, they should be monitored with pets at all times. Young children (under 10 years) are unable to care for a large animal, a cat or a dog, on their own.

Parents must oversee the pet’s care even if they believe their child is old enough to care for a pet. If children become lax in caring for a pet, parents may have to take over the responsibility on their own. Children should be reminded in a gentle, not scolding way, that animals, like people, need food, water, and exercise.
If a child continues to neglect a pet, a new home may have to be found for the animal.
Parents serve as role models. Children learn responsible pet ownership by observing their parents’ behaviour. Advantages of Pet Ownership children raised with pets show many benefits.

Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy. Pets can serve different purposes for children:

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