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OP-ED: Children should be given a chance to own a pet
March 29, 2014, 05:00 AM By Audrey Kearns

Audrey Kearns

Domesticated animals in our country need love and support. These creatures help us by keeping us healthy and happy when we own them as pets. They love us and teach us to be responsible. We take care of them and they care for us in return. However, many animals don’t have homes and people to love them. Also, many children desire to have pets but are not allowed to. I believe that more children in the United States should be able to own pets.

First of all, having pets teaches children responsibility. Children have to feed their pet and exercise it regularly. They will learn to make sure the animal is healthy, therefore developing responsibility, which children can use both at home and even in their schoolwork. Also, the child will work for the pet, and it will give them pride that they were the person who helped this animal live. Therefore, they will always love and treasure this animal. Since they take care of the animal, the animal will always be grateful to them and love them back.

Equally important, having pets keeps children healthy. Some people say that a lot of children in the United States are obese. If more children have pets, they will go outside more often to play with their pets. In addition, they have to walk or run their dog or other pet regularly to keep them calm. Studies show that having pets actually improves people’s health. Petting an animal can help children relax, lowering their blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. Children’s health will improve overall, and they will live longer and happier lives. Similarly, having animals also improves mental health. It will give children something to go to when they are sad and the animal’s love will make them feel much better.

Some concerns adults may have with children getting pets are that pets will make their houses messy. An answer to that concern is that if the child has a pet, they must be responsible for it and clean up after it as a part of caring for it. Another concern is that an animal costs too much. The answer to that concern is that you cannot put a price on saving a life. The money paid for that animal will be saving that animal. It will also be going toward the organization selling the animal, such as the humane society, and it can use the money to help the other animals in its facilities. A final concern may be that the parent might end up having to care for the animal. The answer to that concern is that if the child wants a pet, they must be responsible for their pet. Having this pet will build up their responsibility and they will have to be responsible for their own pet, so the parent will need to make sure their child is caring for the pet themselves. If they wanted the pet, they will need to stick to their commitment. As you can see, the benefits of having a pet outweigh the concerns.

More children in the United States should be able to own pets. Pets will help develop a child’s sense of responsibility. Pets also keep children healthy. I believe that more children should be allowed to own pets to make them and their pets happier and healthier.

Audrey Kerns is a sixth-grader at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School in San Mateo.



Tags: children, their, animal, having, concern, responsibility,

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