Having a dog comes with many benefits, and if you have children they will certainly adore the dog. However, they will also learn a lot from having a dog and you shouldn’t hesitate to adopt a dog for your family. As someone who’s been rescuing and adopting dogs for years, and having kids in my household, here are some of the advantages I’ve personally observed in cases like this.
You Can Adopt a Perfect Dog
Adopting a dog is much better than buying a puppy from a puppy mill if you have children because you can know exactly what you are getting. Puppy mills are only interested in profits, while shelters and other adoption centers will provide actual benefits. This is especially true for dogs who live in foster homes. You can learn all about their personality, energy levels and how they behave in presence of children.
Most of the rescue dogs are also completely trained, which will make the transition much easier. You can even foster a dog before you adopt him in many shelters and rescue facilities, which is a great way to see how the dog fits with your kids.
Dogs Can Reduce Stress
Dogs listen and that can be a great way to reduce stress, not just for your child but for all family members. Having a loving companion can have enormous benefits on your child’s mental health. Dogs will allow your kid to share his frustrations and emotions with somebody. Of course, dogs don’t really understand what you say (at least not completely), but sometimes all you need is someone to listen, especially if you need to share a secret with someone who will not judge you.
Dogs Can Help With Speech Development and Literacy
Many children have developmental delays like late speech and dogs can help them to start speaking. Kids will often become forced to speak in order to give their dogs a simple command or to call them by their name.
When kids learn to speak basic phrases, they can become more confident and free. Dogs can help them with this by simply being present when their parents are not around. Studies have also found that literacy improves in kids who grow up with and read to dogs.
Dogs Can Teach Responsibility and Patience
You can transfer some of the responsibilities that come with owning a dog to your kids. They can walk the dog, feed him or groom him. All these things will help your children develop a sense of responsibility and empathy that comes from caring for another being.
Dogs can also teach children patience since they can often be frustrating to deal with. They scratch, chew, slobber and destroy household items in many creative ways. This can teach your kid how to restrain himself and not yell or hit the dog. Training a dog can also be extremely frustrating and requires a lot of patience.
Dogs Can Build Confidence
Research has shown that dog owners have a stronger relationship to their community and environment, which helps their confidence and comfort levels. Dogs can do the same for kids.
Dogs can especially help an only child. They provide them with a company and can thus give them a confidence boost. Dogs can also teach them how to be respectful to other beings and how to share things with others.
Dogs Offer Protection
Dogs in a household decrease the chances of a robbery or break-in. Dogs are always on guard and will defend their family at all costs since dogs are usually extremely protective. This is particularly true if there are kids in the house.
It doesn’t even matter what breed the dog is or how big it is since the very chance that a dog can warn the owner will likely deter robbers.
Dogs Help the Immune System
Children who live in homes with dogs tend to get sick less often throughout their lives. Some studies even show that babies who come into a home that already has a dog are less likely to suffer from colds or respiratory infections including asthma. Dogs can bring in different kinds of bacteria and germs which forces the child’s immune system to learn how to defend against them.
Dogs Can Keep Children Happy
The number of kids suffering from depression is on the rise, and having a dog as a companion can decrease the chance of depression in your child. Having a dog reduces tension and improves the mood of all household members. Dogs are always happy when they are around their family and that can rub off on people as well, especially on children.
Dogs Can Teach Children Unconditional Love
Dogs love their owners unconditionally and children will often learn from their example. Once kids learn how to love, they will be able to apply this to other kids and people not just during their childhood, but later in life as well.
Dogs Help Improve Social Skills
Studies show that kids and dogs are actually very similar and that their brains are almost identical. That means that a dog can help your kid develop social skills and learn a lot about friendship. Since they are so similar, children will easily understand how to handle dogs and that can help them loosen up.
Studies also show that kids who spend a lot of their time around dogs tend to be more social and make friends easier later in life. Dogs they can teach your children how to be tolerant and care for others and share things with them, which are all traits of a good friend.
Dogs Improve Fast Thinking
Caring for a dog will often require making quick decisions and thinking on your feet. Fast thinking is a skill that many kids lack unless they practice it. Dogs can force them to make decisions on a daily basis and sometimes those decisions must be made instantly. This will help your kids to translate these skills to school or even social situation and sports activities.
Dogs Keep Kids Active
Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the USA and children are not an exception. With the rise of technology, most kids spend their days in front of a computer playing video games. This sedentary lifestyle can lead to many health issues.
Keeping your kids active is very important and having a dog can help a lot. Kids will love to play with a dog, running around, playing fetch and even walking a dog can be interesting to them. The same can be said for obesity in dogs. Instead of having to constantly force your overweight dog into exercise, buying a dog treadmill or otherwise find ways to help your pooch, allowing your kids play with the dog means both of them can consistency exercise through playtime.
This guest post was written by Samantha Randall of www.topdogtips.com