Children learn a lot when growing up, but pets can be wonderful teachers for preschoolers. From responsibility to empathy, pets can help teach kids important values and life skills that they will carry with them into adulthood. Here at Rising Stride Child Care Centers with two locations in Delaware County, we focus on holistic education for your child, instilling a love of discovery and learning into our students. Here are just a few things that pets can teach your preschooler that can better prepare them for preschool, school, and life. Schedule a free tour today!


Taking care of a pet requires a lot of responsibility, and preschoolers can learn this valuable life skill by helping to feed, groom, and care for their pet. Learning how to be responsible for another living thing is an important skill that your child will need as they grow up.


Pets can teach children how to be empathetic and caring towards others. Children can learn to read their pet’s body language and cater to their needs. This will help them understand that other people also have feelings and needs that must be taken care of, which is an important life skill we focus on teaching here at our early childhood education center.


Pets have the ability to bring out the compassionate side of children. Pets can become sick, injured, or sad, and it’s important that children understand that these are normal experiences for living things. They can learn how to be compassionate and gentle with their pet and show affection for them. This transfers to their preschool experience, as we see children with pets show compassion towards their classmates.


Living with a pet also teaches preschoolers about the value of patience. Pets have routines and specific needs, and children must learn how to wait for them. For example, patience is required in waiting for a dog to go potty or waiting for a cat to finish their nap. This also teaches them the virtue of delayed gratification, which is important in a preschooler’s world where it can be extremely hard to get them out of the “me” mindset.

Understand Time Management and Priorities

All pets need care. When your child is part of caring for a living thing, they will grow to understand that there are times they will need to put their pet’s needs ahead of their own. They will also learn more about time management and making certain tasks a priority over others.

Encourage Exercise and Activity. When your child is involved with your pet’s daily walks or exercise, they will start to value physical activity and exercise. It will be a part of their daily habits and lifestyle. The younger you teach your child about the importance of fresh air, daily exercise, and getting away from screens, the healthier and more well-adjusted your child will be.

Before taking a new pet home, take them to the veterinarian for an examination and vaccinations. Bring your child with you so that they can start learning about pet care right away.