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Pet Power

Published
25/07/2013

Whether you are playing catch with your dog, snuggling up with your cat or just gazing at the aquarium of fish, you will inevitably find yourself filled with joy and calmness. Actually, the benefits of having pets are far more than just enjoy the happiness.

Researches have confirmed the long-time belief that pets play an important role in helping people emotionally and physically. So if you are still thinking about it, here are some great reasons why you should consider getting a pet for your young ones.


Kid’s Best Friend

Certain pets like cats and dogs give their owners unconditional love. There is a special relationship between your children and their pets. Your kids will appreciate the knowledge that their pets will be there when the kids feel sad. Pet is like a good friend that they can talk to and confide in. In fact, many kids admit that they tell secrets to pets because pets are trustworthy and will not betray them.

Pets can also help kids to develop better social skills. The thought of sharing about their pets’ antics will make it easy for them to strike up conversation with their peers.

 

Learn Values

When your kids become pet owners, they will learn values along the way. Right from the start, they will learn about responsibility. Regardless of their age, children will be able to help with certain pet-related chores like feeding and cleaning. Pets also help them to become more compassionate towards animals and fellow humans.

Animal awareness in Malaysia is not particularly at its best judging by the cases of animal abuse we read in the papers. But the good news is that there are certain groups who have taken the initiative to educate the public especially children on animal welfare. Take Pet Project as example, a fund raising event that is out to raise awareness on animal issues. According to Pet Project’s mastermind, Sabrina Saw, Malaysian children are curious about animals and hope to learn more about the responsibilities of owning a pet.

 

Improve Health

Contrary to the popular accusation that pets are the main cause of allergies on young children, researches have shown that pets actually help reduce the risk of allergies, asthma and eczema on children. The rationale behind this is that the exposure to pets’ bacteria helps lower the child’s allergic antibody production. This allergic antibody is one of the causes of asthma (inflammation of airways) and eczema (inflammation on skin) in children. Having said these, you are advised to seek doctor’s advice should you worry that having a pet may cause your child to have health issues as some children may not be suitable.

At the same time, simple actions like petting their pet or looking at aquarium or playing with the hamsters, can effectively help reduce a child’s stress. Yes, children have stress too and it can be more difficult for them to cope with stress as compare to adults.

 

Pet Adoption

If you are interested in getting a pet for your kids, I would encourage you to consider adopting one from the animal shelters. Not only will you be able to save a considerably amount of money compared to buying from a pet shop, you would also be saving a life. The animal shelters in Malaysia are constantly full and hence, these animal shelters do not have the capability or resources to take in additional pets. Often, many surrendered pets are euthanized especially the older pets and pets with sickness. Another benefit is that the pets will be vaccinated, de-wormed and neutered (if the animal is over 6 months old) when you adopt them.

 

There are 2 reputable animal shelters in the Klang Valley that you can consider:

1. SPCA Selangor

     Jalan Kerja Air Lama, 68000 Ampang, Selangor

     03-4256 5312 / 4253 5179

     enquiries@spca.org.my

     Adoption costs: min RM70 for cats; min RM150 for dogs

2.  PAWS

     Pilmoor Estate, Subang Airport Road, 47200 Subang, Selangor

     03-7846 1087

     Adoption costs: RM50 for adult dogs, RM80 for puppies, RM30 for adult cats, RM50 for kitten and min RM250 for pedigrees. Neutering costs will be charged when necessary.

 

One last advice, do choose your pets well. Take into consideration the pet’s ability to adapt to your home environment as well as Malaysia’s humid weather. Your budget should also play an important role. Some pets require higher maintenance cost while others are easier on the wallet. There’s also the question of time and space. And of course, your child’s age is just as important. If they are very young, you may want to consider pets that are easier to manage.