Little has been made of the negative consequences of pet ownership from the child’s perspective. Adults know that children are upset if a pet is lost, dies, or must be given up, but it is often considered a fleeting trauma, one that is just “a part of growing up.” Is this really the case? Studies that examine pet ownership from the child’s perspective, tell us that having to relinquish a cherished pet is “a developmental event of major proportions” for children who are school age and beyond. Children demonstrate significant emotional investment in their pets, often including them as central figures when asked to draw a picture of their family.
Read More: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Owning Pets
In one study, a group of seven and ten-year-old children included an average of two pets each when asked to name the ten most important individuals in their lives.
Pic of the Day: Dog Snapchat