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If there is one thing all parents want, it's a child who is happy and content. From a strong foundation of happiness, children can achieve so much, so it’s no wonder we’re always looking for ways to maximize this happiness.

As many families are discovering, a child’s happiness can be greatly increased simply by having a pet around as a companion.

Whether it's a dog, cat, or other friendly critter, pets have an uncanny ability to bring out the best in children. If you're considering getting your child a pet, here are some ways pets have been shown to put a smile on children's faces.

Children often struggle with issues of self-esteem and confidence. Whether they are unhappy with their looks, struggling with schoolwork, or maybe aren't quite as good at sports or other activities as their peers, a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence can become a big problem over time.

However, for kids who own pets, low self-esteem and self-confidence are rarely a problem. In numerous studies, researchers found that kids who had a pet in their lives had higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.

In most cases, this was attributed to the fact that pets always showed kids unconditional love, which helped the children relax and gain confidence.

To make childhood even more fun, kids need to have plenty of friends to hang out with. Based on studies, pets can help with this as well.

By having a dog to take on walks around the neighborhood, an outdoor kitty to run around with in the yard, or other pets that will attract the attention of other kids, chances are your child will strike up a number of new friendships with fellow animal lovers.

By having something in common, kids will be much more likely to start hanging out with one another, setting the stage for a long-lasting friendship.

In today's world, autism is a condition many children struggle with on a daily basis. However, by having pets around, the struggle becomes a bit easier for them and those around them. As more research on autism has been conducted, scientists have found a positive connection between autistic children and pet ownership.

Based on their findings, researchers have found autistic children who own pets are much calmer, and also much better able to communicate with their parents, friends, teachers, and others.

If all this hasn't convinced you just how happy your kids can be by owning a pet, visit Catological for even more ways that pets can make kids happier and healthier!

9 ways pets help raise good healthy kids infographic#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9

Emily ParkerAbout Emily Parker
Emily is a cat mom to Gus and Louis, 2 black cats who only have 3 eyes between them. They have never failed to improve her mood and boost her happiness! When she's not playing with her own kitties, she's out exploring her neighbourhood for cat cafes or sharing her cat behavior expertise with readers on her website, Catological.com