PetSmart® and Leading Child Expert Reveal Key Benefits of Pet Companionship for Children during National Pet Month

Whether they’re furry, feathered, scaled or finned, pets can play a vital role in a child’s overall development, not only offering companionship and social support but also valuable teaching moments around empathy and responsibility.

“There is no doubt that the relationship children have with pets has positive effects on their attitude and behavior,” says Gail F. Melson, PhD, professor emeritus of developmental studies at Purdue University and author of Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children. “Additionally, on a broader level, pets help develop a child’s natural curiosity about the world. With this in mind, May is ‘National Pet Month’ and marks a great time for families to consider adding a pet to their household, as summer break approaches and kids have extra time to start a new pet relationship.”

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