If your child has ADHD and you’re considering getting a pet, you may think about whether it’s a smart idea. As a general rule, the appropriate response is typically yes. Pets can offer your child love and friendship. They can likewise show kids a great deal about personal responsibility and compassion. That can mean a great deal for individual children with ADHD, which is otherwise called ADD, who may battle with specific issues. (1)

Individuals with ADHD will, in general, experience difficulty dealing with time management, performing various tasks, and staying on task. Pets, for kids with ADHD, can encourage them to adhere to their pet’s individual schedule like taking them for walks, taking care of their needs, and cleaning up after them. A child with ADHD should be able to quickly figure out how to plan their day around their pet’s needs, and subsequently, then they will learn to design their own day and stay focused.

These new abilities, such as monitoring time and overseeing specific duties, can and will spill over into their own life and all other non-pet related daily routines. Becoming acclimated to routine with a pet can assist a child suffering from ADHD by adhering them to a schedule, planning, and executing those plans in an organized way. (3)

On the off chance that your child has too much energy, “hyperactive,” playing with a pet will absolutely help with that. Your child can burn off that overabundance of energy by running with their dog or playing games with their cat, which will make your child much more relaxed by the end of the day.

Children with ADHD are used to their parents or family attempting to quiet them down/calm them down. A pet offers love and won’t condemn a child for having too much energy. A pet will meet your child stride for stride. Pets will always pay attention to your child, thus helping with their self-esteem and confidence. (2)

One small study found that kids with ADHD improved in treatment when a therapy dog attended appointments with their child. The dogs appeared to quiet down the children, bring down their feelings of anxiety and help “prime” them for treatment. Therapy dogs are uniquely suited for this task. (1) But merely having another type of pet around your home can likewise be useful for all kids with ADHD.

Individuals with ADHD experience the effects of ‘hyperactivity’ and are hard to keep occupied on specific tasks; they lash out when they have to focus on something for too long. As kids with ADHD develop, they figure out how to control their thoughts and actions better, but little children with ADHD continually squirm and rarely stop moving. A pet for kids with ADHD can assist them with diminishing their overall energy levels. Also, having a pet in your home will cause your ADHD child to feel more joyful in general. Playing, taking care of, and teaching their pet is useful for their body, their mind, and also helps to ease that anxious inclination that ADHD children possess. Particularly for younger children with ADHD, who regularly appear never to stop moving, pets can help keep them involved, moving around, and burning off all that excess energy. (3)

Please be aware, though, that pets are not considered an actual “treatment” for ADHD. They shouldn’t be brought into your home with that particular objective anyways. (1) There’s isn’t one kind of pet that will necessarily be better than another. It indeed relies solely upon your specific child and your family’s general dynamic.

Equally significant is the way a pet will fit in with the remainder of the family. A fun-loving dog can be an incredible counterpart for a child with ADHD. In any case, it’s imperative to consider whether you have both the opportunity and money to care for your new family member. Adding a therapy pet to a distracted family or unstable family situation won’t help anyone and may be detrimental to your ADHD child in the long run. (1)

Research is showing that utilizing pets like dogs in therapy for kids with ADHD can be incredibly fruitful in the long run. In one study, children with ADHD who worked with dogs in their therapy meetings radically improved their ability to focus as well as their self-control.

In this sort of treatment, known as “Canine Assisted Intervention,” youngsters with ADHD read to dogs and attempted to show them their skills. In therapy, the kids comprehended that they were working with a living creature and made sure to treat it as such. Communication with animals can be a great device that parents, guardians, and child therapists can use while working with children with ADHD. (3)

The passion that comes with taking care of a pet will help children who battle with an assortment of emotional wellness issues like specific anxiety issues, being always discouraged or kids who feel depressed. Another plus, a therapy pet can also assist kids who have ADHD, live more joyful and fulfilling lives, and improve their overall psychological wellbeing. Out of all the odd treatment techniques utilized today in the care and treatment of ADHD in kids, getting an adorable pet dog doesn’t sound like a bad option.

You must think carefully and thoroughly before choosing to adopt a pet to help with your child’s ADHD, but it can be a very positive expansion to their lives. That being said, are there individual children with ADHD who shouldn’t have a pet? There might be situations where a few children with ADHD indeed shouldn’t have a pet. Children with extreme motivation control issues or who are forceful can hurt a pet without constant supervision. (1) This doesn’t mean these kinds of ADHD children ought never to have a pet. They may need to develop and learn more before they can live with and take care of a pet.

So what should you take away from this article? There isn’t one sort of pet or breed that is best for kids with ADHD. Pets shouldn’t be treated as a plaything. Help your child get themselves and your home ready for their new pet. The pet you pick needs to address the issues and energy level of your child, just as it needs to match and integrate well with the rest of your family. (1)

A pet can be a great addition to your child’s ADHD therapy, and if done the correct way, it can give them a whole new outlook on life.


  1. https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/ faqs-about-pets-for-kids-with-adhd
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pills-dont-teach-skills/201102/pets-kids-add
  3. https://sachscenter.com/pets-for-people-with-adhd/

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  • Sarah is the managing editor and a frequent contributor at Creature Companions. Sarah is originally from sunny Florida, but has lived in Cyprus, China and Northern Ireland from 2009-2018. She currently resides, with her husband, Derek, in the City of Love, Philadelphia. Sarah is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy lifestyle through preventative healthcare and positive enrichment for a long, vibrant life of their four-legged friends. She's had pets (mostly dogs) and has been writing about pet-focused topics, advice and trends since 2012.

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