Pets help to ease children’s stress

Research from aquatics company, Tetra, has found that children in pet-owning households perform better in school, meeting or exceeding teacher’s expectations by almost 10 percent vs children without any pets.

51 percent of the pet owning parents surveyed believed that keeping fish had a calming effect on their child. 55 percent thought owning a fish taught responsibility and 19 percent felt it helped the development of social skills.

58 percent of children between three and 14 were worried about going to school. The research claimed that the most common age for stress in children was nine to 11. However, 33 percent of parents felt that spending time with a pet helped their nine to 11 year old calm down.

Dr Angharad Rudkin, child psychologist and Tetra spokesperson said: “It’s concerning to hear that children as young as three are suffering from stress and it’s not surprising this peaks as they reach year six when the pressure of secondary school looms. Keeping fish is a great and safe introduction into the world of pets for young children helping to teach important, transferable skills that will benefit them throughout school and into adult life.

“Not only are different species fascinating to watch but they also provide the perfect opportunity for children to learn about various types and their behaviour. Introducing a pet to the family helps development in young children and creates a calming atmosphere in the home, benefiting the entire family.”

Tetra and OnePoll, surveyed 1,000 parents of three-14 year olds (men and women) in the UK. For more information about Tetra, visit

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