Dear doggo lovers, we will not bore you with phrases like – dog is a man’s best friend, for we have gone way past that. We are taking full-time doggo-parents now. Having a dog changes your life completely, and if you are a person who grew up with dogs, chances are you want to share the same happiness with your kids by letting them have a dog companion. Not only are they cuddlesome, but they also help your child grow into better human beings. Here in this article, we have discussed how your children can benefit from having a dog at home. Read on!
1. A Higher Self Esteem
Children feel full of confidence when they are trusted with responsibilities. Activities like taking care of a pet only help them feel more responsible. However, make sure the duties are age-appropriate. For example, if your child is too small to walk the dog, they can fill the water bowl instead.
2. They’re More Compassionate
According to studies, children who grew up with pets exhibited greater compassion and understanding (1). In addition, in homes with pets, kids often pitch in to help feed, walk, and otherwise care for the animal, which may help them develop essential life skills.
3. They Feel Supported
After being asked who they’d talk to if they had a problem, many kids choose their pet. Pets help children feel free to share their feelings where their own peers leave them feeling misunderstood. However, as parents, you must try to talk to your child and get to know what is causing them problems.
4. Possess Higher Levels Of Intelligence
Some studies have found that children talking to their dogs through praise, instruction, or simple chattering have a positive cognitive development (2). In addition, reading to animals is a popular activity in specific classrooms and shelters. The benefits apply both to the kids and the pets!
5. Lower Stress Levels
Research shows that petting a dog reduces stress hormones in both the pet and the owner (3). They can help you calm your nerves after a long day with heavy doses of dopamine secretion.
6. Keeps Children Healthier
Besides the obvious advantages of being more athletic and playing outdoors more often while playing with a dog, multiple studies have revealed that kids with canines have a lower incidence of allergies (5). However, if your child shows any signs of allergies to being near your dog, you need to provide your kid with medical attention immediately.
7. Kids Become More Responsible
Having a dog in the family is a big commitment, so involving your child in caring for the dog can help them learn about responsibilities and challenges that arise later in life. Don’t start with heavy duties like giving medicines to the dog or walking the dog three times a day. Instead, it can be like brushing the dog once a day or cleaning up and gathering the dog toys in a particular place. Once your child learns the responsibilities, you can assign them walking or feeding duties. You can also make it more fun by allocating some money aside as pocket money for the dog and letting your child decide what dog food or toy to buy with it. This way, they will learn to budget as well.
Many families already have a doggo in their house before they plan for kids. This gives them more time to understand their furry member and give them all the attention in their youth. But caring for a dog is almost equal to caring for a hyper toddler, especially when they are still a puppy. So you need to be mentally, physically, and financially prepared for it. So here are some things to consider before bringing in a paw-some buddy into your house.
1. Ask Your Kids How They Feel About It
Most children are elated by having a puppy in their house. They must have seen it in movies and want to have a companion to play with. However, it is still essential to paint a clear picture for your children before you bring a pet. Make sure they realize the responsibilities of bringing in a dog and the duties they will have to follow after the pet is in the house.
2. Understand If You Are Ready For It
The same question goes for the adults as well. Even though the kids focus on the fun part of playing with the dog, you, as an adult, will be concerned with the not-so-fun details like vaccinations, checkups, training, and parenting. Pets, like children, need constant attention and love and will require you to look after them. So before you sign up to get yourself a dog, make sure you understand the responsibilities completely.
Having a doggo in the house will ensure you never run out of smiles. They might chew your shoes and shred your couch, but the memories you will make with your dog are irreplaceable. People who have had dogs for a long time have even said they are the best babysitters for their kids. However, it is advised to never leave your kid and your dog unsupervised.