Dogs are little bundles of happiness. Their tails wag uncontrollably when they see us walk in the room. They truly are part of the family – and here are a few ways that dogs are excellent for kids.
Owning a dog teaches responsibility
Owning a dog is more about just playing with him. Who will feed him? Who will check that he has water? Who will apply the flea treatment? When a family has a dog it is important that everyone is involved in their well-being.
Every now and then, there is a mess that needs to be cleaned up. Splashing around the water bowl, house training, and tearing up chew toys are some of the messes that a dog can create. So, it makes sense to get the little ones involved in the fun!
It teaches kids how to be around dogs
I didn’t grow up with dogs. In fact, I was terrified of dogs as a youngster. I was never bitten nor had I experienced any negative dog encounter that I can remember. It was years later that I realized it was purely due to a lack of knowledge of a dog’s behavior and body language.
I am also amazed at how little kids know about them and how they approach my dogs in completely the wrong way. Parents should take the time to explain the correct way to approach a dog. Growing up with a dog teaches kids how to act around a dog.
Owning a dog teaches kids empathy and nurturing ability
Research has shown that growing up with a pet teaches a child to show more empathy and be nurturing to another. This can also help with building relationships as they get older.
The dog’s health becomes important to the kid and they learn to consider the feeling of other beings rather than just their own. When the dog is sick or in pain, a child can help take care of the dog’s needs, such as make sure the dog has food, water or is given their medicine.
Something else that should be remembered is that dogs need exercise. One of the biggest reasons for a dog misbehaving is because they are not getting at least 2 walks per day!
Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to get kids involved in dog care, and can be a wonderful way to help teach responsibility. The kids benefit as well, by getting outside and getting some physical activity.
Owning a dog teaches patience
One of the quickest ways to get your dog to ignore you is to lose patience with him. Staying calm and in control is something that will benefit kids in all aspects of their lives.
Kids today are too quick to fly off the handle when things get difficult. Once they see that they have a better relationship with their dog when they are patient with him, they will learn to be calm in other situations.
Children who grow up with a dog are less likely to develop allergies
I grew up with asthma and it isn’t nice! Research has shown that kids who grow up around dogs are less likely to suffer with allergies. The study found that early exposure to pets can improve their tolerance to the bacteria that cause illnesses such as asthma.
Petting a dog can reduce stress
Petting and interaction with dogs can reduce stress levels. Modern life can be difficult for many kids and anything that reduces their stress has to be a positive thing. Also, talking to a dog can help kids work through a difficult time as dogs don’t answer back or judge us.
After the more serious stuff that we have looked at, we should never forget the best things about owning a dog. They are great fun to be around.
A well trained, well socialized dog will be with you for many years, letting your kids grow up with the joy of having a dog in their life.
I wish that I had the experience of growing up with a dog. In my opinion, I missed out on some wonderful opportunities. To make up for it, I’m making sure that my kids have the chance to spend their childhood loving a dog.
*Guest post by Nina from Dogs by Nina.