People and dogs have been besties for tens of thousands of years. The bonds we form with our canine companions are like nothing else— perhaps because dogs provide friendly companionship and unconditional affection. Thinking about getting a dog for your child? Here are seven more reasons to get your kid a dog.
1. Dogs help kids learn about responsibility.
Dogs are lots of fun, but they need plenty of care. Assigning at least some of the dog-related chores to your child is a fantastic way to teach responsibility by having them care for an important family member. It’s best to make the chores age-appropriate so your child has a sense of accomplishment.
According to the American Pet Association, a full 58 percent of pet owners felt that their dogs did a great job of helping children learn how to be more responsible. It’s normal for kids to make mistakes particularly during the early stages of learning how to care for a dog. This means parents must play an active role by offering guidance, giving helpful feedback, and providing supervision to make sure that things are going well.
2. Kids with dogs are more active.
Dogs are fun to play with! No video games or fancy equipment required: All you need is a comfy harness and leash, and your whole family can have fun exploring the neighborhood together.
Playing silly dog games like fetch and hide n’ seek increases your child’s activity level, too. Science backs up intuitive knowledge from Kids Wild Ride here: According to a study conducted at St. George’s University of London, kids with dogs spent an average of 325 minutes engaged in physical activity each day.
3. Kids who have dogs sleep better.
According to a study published in Sleep Review, dogs can help people sleep better. This can be particularly helpful for children who have nightmares or experience anxiety, as it’s comforting to have a protective pet nearby. A dog provides a sense of safety and as a result, your child will find it easier to relax, avoid sleep disorders, and enjoy restorative rest.
Studies show that a pet’s heartbeat and rhythmic breathing are soothing. So so sleeping with a dog can be beneficial so long as he’s clean and pest-free! If you’re not OK with a dog sharing your child’s bed, at least consider having them sleep in the same bedroom.
4. Dogs reduce anxiety in children.
Having a friendly dog at home can help create a happy, positive atmosphere. But that’s not all: Research published in Preventing Chronic Disease shows that dogs may help reduce childhood anxiety by providing companionship, stimulating conversation, and increasing oxytocin which in turn reduces a stress hormone called cortisol.
Getting your child a dog means giving the gift of security and comfort. If your child suffers from anxiety or stress, Fido’s unconditional love will make a difference.
5. Dogs bolster immunity.
These days we know that it’s important to be exposed to a bit of dirt. Without it, our immune systems never have the opportunity to develop properly. Multiple studies show that babies raised in homes with dogs were less likely to suffer from allergies, catch colds, and come down with respiratory infections. The reason sounds counterintuitive. Dogs bring in pollen, dirt, bacteria, and other particles on their paws and coats, so your child’s immune system learns to bolster its defenses early on.
6. Dogs help kids build social skills.
Children who grow up around dogs have an easier time making and keeping friends, simply because they’ve already learned some friendship skills by interacting with their dogs. Confidence, speaking skills, and empathy are a few important areas where dogs help children develop socially.
Dogs can help any child build better social skills, but they’re particularly helpful for kids who are naturally shy.
7. Dogs provide companionship.
Dogs truly are our best friends: They don’t judge us; they listen to our troubles and they’re always happy to spend time together. Many kids need more engagement—and getting a dog is the ideal way to provide more friendship and help prevent loneliness.
While it’s true that dogs can be messy and caring for them can impact your schedule, kids and dogs go together like peas and carrots. And thanks to the lessons kids learn while forming relationships with pets, having a dog can help your child learn to enjoy stronger relationships with people. Add endless entertainment, active fun, and better emotional health into the mix and it’s easy to understand why it’s such a great idea to get your kid a dog!
About the Author
Lauretta Williams is a web-addicted blogger. She loves spending her time listening to music, playing with her dog and writing blogs from her computer. We all want our dog not to run from home. But sometimes, they still might get lost. Don’t worry, we have your back. Report your lost with PawMaw, we can help you find your missing pet.