Most children love dogs. They are cute, cuddly and adorable. But did you know that growing up with a dog helps your child’s physical and psychological development? These are just some of the many benefits of having a dog for a child
1. Constant companionship
Although childhood is not always easy, having a pet provides constant companionship not only in the good times, but also in the not-so-good times. Dogs offer comfort for children, even when they have to face life’s difficulties. When children feel sad, angry or scared, they can always turn to their pet. Petting and cuddling a dog has also been shown to relieve stress and help us to relax.
2. A more active lifestyle
Caring for a dog also encourages a more active lifestyle. Children with dogs exercise eleven minutes a day more than their non-dog peers. It may not seem like much, but over a week or a month… it all adds up! Many dogs require daily walks or runs and lots of playtime. Their lambent eyes will motivate you, even if you don’t feel like it.
3. Learning responsibility
Owning a pet is a great way to teach children to be responsible. Making sure the dog has food and water gives children their first taste of responsibility and obligation. Children also learn empathy and compassion by caring for their pet and develop a higher level of self-esteem by taking charge of their responsibilities as owners.
4. Health is everything
Studies have shown that babies who have been raised in contact with a pet are sick less often in their first year of life, which means fewer visits to the doctor. Exposure to pet dander and the microbes that pets bring into the home from outside has also been shown to improve the development of babies’ immune systems. In addition, children who grow up with dogs have been found to have a lower risk of developing allergies.
5. Let yourself go and be happy!
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of having a dog, especially for a child, is making them happy. Interaction with animals has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are the chemical components of positive feelings. And, science aside, playing and interacting with dogs is fun and makes any child’s day. Growing up with a dog enriches children’s lives in many ways. Welcoming a dog into the family can be one of the best gifts we can give our children.