Children seem fascinated by animals. The characters in picture books provide children with a more realistic view of the animal world and a meaningful relationship that has an impact on them in a variety of ways. Understanding that relationship may aid parents in making the best pet choice for their child as well as provide them with a better understanding of the elements that contribute to a truly successful bond.

According to many parents, taking care of an animal may teach kids important lessons about empathy, responsibility, and caregiving. “It’s really important, especially for young kids, to learn that someone’s perspective might be different from their own,” says Megan Mueller, associate professor of human-animal interaction at Tufts University, US. But beliefs regarding the positive effects of pets on kids go even further, implying that having pets can affect kids’ social abilities, physical health, and even cognitive development and that having pets is linked to having more empathy. Pet ownership may enable the development of supportive relationships and help families and children with autism symptoms feel less stressed.

As per John Bradshaw, a former reader in companion animal behavior at the University of Bristol in the UK and the author of several books on cats and dogs, a child’s bond with their pet could give them a much-needed connection to nature. He added that a genuine, living, breathing, slightly messy animal that runs around the house is a fantastic way to encourage these connections.