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kids love animals

Teaching Children to Love Animals – A Veterinarian’s POV

I was destined to become a veterinarian, born with an innate love and curiosity for animals. I was obsessed with monkeys when I could barely speak and wanted to move to Africa to live with them. Every animal I saw on the streets was meant for me to care for and love at home. While most children wanted to go to playgrounds and the beach on the weekends, I wanted to go to pet stores. Yep, veterinary medicine was always my destiny. However, my parents are the real MVPs for truly fostering my love, passion, and compassion for animals, which would later become my life’s work. Teaching your kids to love animals may be one of the best things you can do for them!

For most of us, the way we were raised serves as the biggest impact on who we will become and how we will raise our own children. I am truly grateful for the amazing parents I have and the wonderful childhood I look back on with such fond memories. My sisters, brother, and I had a wonderful childhood with so many amazing memories of family, friends, holidays, vacations, love, and pets….lots and lots of pets.

We were kind of known in the neighborhood to have a “zoo.”  We always had a least one pair of dogs, a few cats, and whatever else I talked my parents into letting me bring home – iguanas, ferrets, hamsters, and even a squirrel, to name a few. These memories of caring and loving our “zoo” taught me some of my most valuable lessons in life. I hope to pass these life lessons along to my babies.  

Kids Love Animals!

6 Life Lessons Kids Learn From Growing Up With Animals

1. Sympathy

The core of kindness and love is being sympathetic and feeling what others may be going through. It is the foundation for kindness.

2. Kindness

Teaching your children to go through this world and be kind to all life, especially animals, is invaluable.

3. Love

Loving animals is loving everything. By teaching your kids to love animals, you are teaching them to cherish all life.

4. Nurture

What greater life lesson is there than to know the benefits of nurturing others? Being nurtured makes others feel great, and you also get a real satisfaction from making others feel good. Win win!

5. Respect

If your child learns to respect ALL animals, they will carry that into every aspect of their lives.

6. Responsibility

I love this lesson! The ultimate lesson in responsibility is taking care of something that needs your help and watching them thrive. Nothing is more rewarding.

Final Thoughts

Just look at those words listed above. For me, if my children learn to embody these things, I have done an amazing job as a parent and can be proud. My parents fostered my love for animals and allowed me to have many pets growing up. However, pets in the home is not the only way to teach kids to love animals and all the amazing lessons that come with that love. Books, zoos, TV, speaking with your children, shadowing your local veterinarian at work, and visiting friends’ pets are all ways to instill these core values in your children. And you never know – your baby just may grow up to become a veterinarian!

kids and pets

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