Comical, furry, and downright loveable – you have heard the saying dogs are man’s best friend right? Did you know that they are great for your kids too?
My home would not be complete without the love of my canine companions. They have taught my children so many things about life and a dog would do the same for your children.
Ready to discover the wonderful reasons your kid needs a dog?
1. Gaining Confidence
Children struggle for acceptance among their peers at school. Everyone wants to be part of the “in-crowd.” They want to grow up quickly and be self-reliant, all the while worrying about how grades and behavior make them look.
Having a dog to come home to will fill their life with unconditional love and support. The dog accepts them for who they are, no questions asked. Not to mention, by raising their puppy into an adult and training them on proper behavior, your child will feel such a sense of accomplishment and become more confident in everything they do.
2. Learning Responsibility
Eventually, our kids must learn to fend for themselves. While the thought of our babies leaving the nest gets most of us to tear up and have heart palpitations, we teach them responsibility so they will be ready for the world ahead.
Having a dog is easily the best way to teach your kid the importance of being responsible. Beginning with the day you bring home your new pet, hand the reins over to your kids. Teach them how to properly feed and give water to their dog, how often to take them for a walk, training tricks, etc.
You will see your child blossom as they take total responsibility for raising their new family member. It will also give them a new appreciation for time management and compromise, as they will need to get up earlier to take the dog out and discover that they may have to give up some social activities to put their pet first.
3. Health Benefits
Dogs need plenty of exercise throughout the day. Simply taking them for a potty time walk or letting them out into the back yard is not sufficient. Just like your child, they are full of energy that they need to get out.
The great thing about dogs is their ability to play as long as your kid wants. They are thrilled to play tag, chase balls, or get down on the ground for some roughhousing. Your child will spend more time in the fresh air playing, and much less time sitting in front of a computer!
Did you know that having a dog keeps your kids healthy in other ways? A study done in 2012, and published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who grow up with a dog have fewer ear infections and require fewer antibiotics. Reportedly, they were also healthy 73% of the time, compared to 65% for kids who did not have a dog.
Additionally, a study completed in 2015 showed a direct link between kids having their own dog and better mental health.
4. Improved Sibling Relationships
This may be one reason to get a dog that never crossed your mind. If you have two or more children they will surely all want to participate in raising the newest family member! Can you imagine your kids playing nicely together with the dog instead of fighting all the time?
Your dog will certainly never be lacking for attention or companionship. They will bond together over their shared love of the pet and hopefully carry this new relationship dynamic for years to come. Each of your kids will still learn about responsibility without even noticing that they are actually becoming friends!
5. Learning Compassion
We all know a dog can sniff out a thick steak at fifty paces. Their sense of smell is beyond incredible. In the same way, they find that scrap of broccoli which “fell” from your kid’s plate (be honest here…we all know they threw it on purpose!), dogs have an uncanny ability to sense when there is something amiss with us.
Have you ever cried only to feel a wet nose gently touch your hand? Remember when you had the flu and were bedridden for a week? I bet your dog never left your side. Dogs teach our kids to recognize how others are feeling and to give support when needed. Compassion towards others will become second nature to a kid growing up with a dog.
Everyone needs a friend to stave off the loneliness and have someone to talk to. Your child is no exception. In fact, it is extremely important for their personal and social development.
Single child homes do not allow for the same type of healthy companionship found in multi-sibling families. Growing up with their own dog gives kids a best friend who is always there and willing to listen.
They always have a playmate ready to go with just a whistle. Most importantly, children become more social around their pets and often lose any former shyness they had with people. Simply get them talking about their pet and watch them light up with delight!
7. Personal Protection
Today’s world is a dangerous place, especially for trusting kids. Dogs bond quickly with their families, making them the center of their universe. They would do anything for those they love.
While this gives parents a sense of comfort, dogs can become too protective. My pit bull is the friendliest dog on the planet – until a stranger tries to get near my grandson. While he does not attack, the verbal warning is more than enough to turn most people away!
To stop this from happening with your dog you and your child must start training him or her early. Your dog should be well socialized and know basic obedience commands. Training sessions are also a great way to keep your child engaged with the dog and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Now you have 7 wonderful reasons to say yes when your kid asks for a dog! Was this article enjoyable for you to read? Please feel free to leave any comments you may have below on your own positive experiences raising your child with a dog. I have just one small favor to ask. Could you kindly share this post with all your family and friends to help them make the right choice for their kid too?
Helena Foster is a Veterinary Nurse and the founder of PawsomeWorld. She has a lovely dog – Lulu. With the love for dogs, she’s willing to share her experiences for dog owners to help them make a better life for their own dogs.