One of the reasons why people adopt animals is because they crave companionship. They want to have someone in their life that they can call their buddy as time passes, as they grow older and more experienced, and for many people, those are the pets they had over the past couple of years. It’s sad that humans routinely outlast them because of our lifespan, but good things come from it too!
The good thing that comes from it is that you will almost definitely be able to see your pet grow up, and there’s just something pure and precious about it. Being able to hold a furry little pet in your hands who will eventually become too big to fit in those hands. The genuine love and affection that exists in watching your pet turn into an adult are just absolutely incomparable.
#1 “Tanner 2 months old vs. 14 months old 😻 #thenandnowchallenge”
Confidence grew too
There’s a lot to be looked into when talking about growing up with animals!
Dr. Christina Brown is a social-personality scientist and professor at Arcadia University. She has researched how pets can benefit human health and well-being. According to Brown, pets don’t just provide companionship. They can also offer as much social support as a spouse, sibling, or close friend—and owners see them as much a part of the family as anyone else. In fact, it’s when owners feel close to their pets that they see the most benefit from having an animal in the house.
#2 “Hard to believe he was ever that small.🥺 #thenandnowchallenge”
Kept the sad face
#3 “How it started vs How it’s going #thenandnowchallenge”
His ears are cute too
“Psychological research shows that the more forms of social support, the more relationships that we have, the better. Pets add to that,” says Brown. “If we are lacking something, if we have been rejected or feel lonely, studies show even thinking about our animals makes us feel better.” It’s also worth noting that pets add to a household more than they take away. As Brown explains, “The critical thing is that pets don’t come at a cost to human relationships. They really are this extra source of support that is related to better well-being.”
#4 “Same sink, bigger Rudy #thenandnowchallenge”
Rudy is ready for his bath
#5 “Nico when she was a 2 mth old ice cream tub orphan rescue. She’s 7 yo now. #thenandnowchallenge”
#6 “My husband wouldn’t let me get the pup…. SO I LEFT THE HUSBAND AND LOVE MY PUP 😁😍 LOL… I watched Gus since the moment he was born… picked him as soon as I saw him as I’d been anticipating this litter… So let’s give Gus the love he deserves…. the love he gives, back to him ❤ #thenandnowchallenge”
Growing up with pets can contribute significantly to early childhood development. Studies show that children with pets in the household may demonstrate better impulse control and fewer symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Pets may also reduce the likelihood of developing allergies. According to Brown, the responsibility of caring for another family member can have lasting benefits, and giving a child the responsibility of taking care of certain aspects of a pet can be good for both the pet and the child.
#7 “Mila does a big G R O W — 8 weeks to 1 year + 8 months #thenandnowchallenge”
Doesn’t even look the same
#8 “Abandoned and living in the courtyard of my apartment building for over 10 years. Now living in my apartment sleeping on my bed. #thenandnowchallenge”
Physical health can also be linked to mental health, and growing up with pets can contribute to both. For dogs especially, the responsibility of taking them for walks is a great incentive for going outside and moving around. “For mental health,” says Brown, “there’s a lot of research showing that physical activity has great benefit.”
#9 “Lovebug Gunner at 9 weeks, 21 lbs then vs 3 years, 140 lbs now. He gained 8-9 lbs a WEEK until he stabilized out. About once a month I pick up four 45 lbs bags of grain-free kibble 😳. My SO, the guy in the photo, is 6’2” [for reference]. #thenandnowchallenge”
Favourite show is on
#10 “Essie at 3 weeks vs Essie at 1.5 years 😭 I can’t even process this #thenandnowchallenge”
#11 “Rescued my boy Jasper in 2019. My grandfather found him along with 2 other kittens in an abandoned house. When I first rescued him he was dirty, skinny and very scared. He was the shyest one of the litter. My family told me not to keep him because he was ‘mean’… He would hiss, growl and swat. I knew he was just scared and needed time to get used to a new environment and humans. With time he became more and more confident. Now a year later, he is the most loving, goofiest, dog-like cat I could of ever asked for. He is always by my side and constantly begs for attention. I couldn’t imagine life without him…. #thenandnowchallenge”
Stars in Stuart Little
#12 “Bane started off afraid of the ocean, hiding by the rocks. Now he jumps in the waves and it’s his favorite place 🥰 #thenandnowchallenge”
#13 “Almost two years ago today, I found this little munchkin in a ditch at the end of my driveway. She had been abandoned by a heartless person who decided that she was worthless. How could anyone abandon that sweet face? 🥺 Now, two years later, she’s thriving with some great family friends that love her more than anything! Happy rescue day Millie 💙 #thenandnowchallenge”
Adorable puppy remain adorable
#14 “The more things change, the more they stay the same #thenandnowchallenge”
#15 “The first photo I ever saw of Binx, he was 8 weeks old and ready for his forever home. He was posted in a local adoption group and well I instantly fell in love with him. And now, he’ll be 3 in February and he’s the sweetest, most loving bebe I’ve ever owned 🖤🥰 #thenandnowchallenge”
This is why growing up with animals is such a good idea. Get your kid a pet! Tell us the stories in the comments down below!