Hearing these questions, some researchers are challenged to analyze from various sides, including the relationship of pet ownership with normal child development, obesity, trauma, and autism.
“There is evidence that children benefit from their relationship with animals,” said James Serpell, leader of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, as quoted by the New York Times.
Alan Beck, the board of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, even said that some families would like to raise animals for a reason and interests: children. “They believe in good pets for children. And it seems like it does, to some extent. “
There is a general belief that pets can teach children the skills they use in human social interaction. Regarding trust,Children who have pets are not aware of having learned nonverbal communication.”
Gail F. Melson, professor of human development and family studies at Purdue, outlines, children who develop a relationship with animals may be easier to empathize. Hope that children can learn more empathetic and skilled in communication from the animals even this provoked another question. What if the autistic child a pet at home?
Children who have difficulty interacting socially are believed to form a deep bond with the animals. In addition, some dogs are trained and certified to assist therapy, as has been done by the Autism Service Dogs of America.
Explains, animal therapy has a very broad category, come in all shapes, sizes, breeds and species. “In my experience, the best animals for the treatment or service is the Labrador Retriever. Some people suggest greyhound; some therapy dogs are of this type. “
Other experts to try to see the practice of using dogs as an entertainer of children are depressed. Rebecca Johnson, director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri, has initiated a randomized clinical trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Cases of abuse of children were interviewed, and some dogs were given service during the interview. Thereafter, the physiological indicators of stress were measured. “Many cities use service dogs in the courtroom of the child,” said Johnson. “I wanted to identify whether it can be a stress reducer or not.”
Meanwhile, for children who struggle with obesity, the dog walk is being explored as a strategy to increase physical activity in children. Several studies have shown it can be done in adults.
In the past, discussions about pets tend to focus on risk factors. A commentary in the journal Pediatrics in 1965, ‘Pets, Parasites, and Pediatrics’, stating that 40 infections that commonly occur in children in this country is obtained from the animals.
Not only that, doctors often advice given is based on personal prejudice, not evidence. In a study conducted in 1980 on allergies, for example, physicians who do not have pets tend to say to the families of allergic children is to not raise animals.
The relationship between pets and allergies was very complex. Some studies indicate that the initial contact in animals at an early age may have to protect children.
Recent articles that examine a large number of studies, found evidence that children with no history of allergies in the family, and those who are familiar with the dog in the perinatal period may be less developed allergies in his system.
Pets affect children in many ways, including the immune system and develop social skills. “The strongest evidence of the importance of pets, comes from the children themselves, who often think of pets as a source of emotional support