In our pet-centric culture, it’s not surprising that a variety of businesses allow their employees to bring their four-legged best friends to work. Amazon, Google, Bissell, Nestle Purina, and Ticketmaster are leading the pack when it comes to this trend. They believe it results in lower stress levels, higher productivity, and greater retention. Of course, we’ve known that pets are good for you for a long time, but now, there’s scientific proof!
For those of us who have to leave our pets at home during the work day, the good feelings start to flow as soon as we arrive back home. Simply seeing your pet does a lot of good for your heart and soul, and being close with them, feeling their heartbeat, and listening to them breath releases endorphins. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is replaced by oxytocin, the love hormone.
Displaying a love for animals, especially dogs and cats, seems to come naturally to most children. For the most part, having a pet (or interacting with one) can be a fun, positive experience for all involved. However, it’s important to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both kids and pets to build a lifelong foundation of love and respect.
Approaching an Animal
When approaching an unfamiliar dog, make sure your child knows to always ask the owner first before petting. If the owner gives permission, the child should offer their hand, palm up, to be sniffed. If the dog seems accepting, your child may stroke their shoulder or chest.
Cats can seem slightly less predictable than dogs, and their body language isn’t always readily obvious to humans. In general, kids should know to let a cat come to them for affection. A cat who’s hissing, lashing their tail, has ears flattened, or one who walks away should be left alone.