Kids love dogs, and most dogs love kids! Not for dinner but as a friendly companion! Most children love animals anyway. Especially the furry friendly kind! I mean let’s face it, dogs are cute and cuddly and usually always very friendly and loyal too. For that reason, they make great pets for children of all ages.
But there’s more to it than that. There’s a special bond between loving dog and caring child. And it’s that bond that can benefit a child’s growth in the world. Both physically and psychologically too! So let’s look at and talk about some of the ways that a dog can benefit a child’s life.
5 Ways Dogs Can Make Children Happy and Healthy
- They Are a Constant Companion
Growing up as a child isn’t always easy for most kids. Not all kids have good friends they can turn to. But having a pet dog provides a child with a constant companion he or she can turn to when life throws a downer. And when kids are dealing with tough life lessons, a dog can prove to be very comforting for them. Being able to turn to your pet dog as a kid, whenever you’re feeling sad, alone, angry, upset or afraid of something, again proves to be very comforting for them. In fact, it’s been proven that by petting and cuddling their dog, this relieves stress and anxiety in children and helps them to relax and find contentment.
- They Make Children More Active
Owning and looking after a pet dog actively encourages a much more healthy and active lifestyle for children. Just think of all those walks the dog will need which gets your kids out and about instead of sitting on their games console all day. A recent study on kid dog owners showed that children who own and look after dogs get up to 11 minutes more exercise a day than those children that don’t have a dog. It might not sound like a huge amount, but that adds up over a month or a years time. Most dogs need walking at least once or even twice a day. And who can resist those cute and adorable puppy like eyes even when you don’t feel like it?
- They Help with Learning Responsibility
Keeping a dog as a family pet is an excellent way to teach your children how to be responsible. Just through making sure that your dog has food to eat and fresh water to drink is one way that children can learn about being accountable and find a sense of obligation and duty. And pet dogs can also teach young children about compassion and empathy too simply through the act of looking after the dog. But more than this, dogs can help children develop more confidence and self-esteem in their selves through the responsibility of caring for your dog.
- They Promote Good Health
Another recent study done has found that children that are brought up with a family pet dog, even babies that are raised in close contact with them, actually get sick much less than children that don’t. That means less visits to the doctors and happier healthier child. It probably has to do with being in close contact with them and being exposed to germs. Much like those kids that played in the dirt build up an immunity later on in life. Where as those that don’t get sick from the smallest thing. It’s like this exposure to the microbes that dogs carry into your home from outside that can go on to improve your child’s immunity. Some other research also suggests that children that grow up with dogs in their home go on to become much less susceptible to allergies of all kinds.
- They Just Make Kids Happy!
Let’s talk straight and be honest; dogs make kids happy. When kids interact with dogs, they make those kids happy by the very act of playing. That releases dopamine and serotonin in their brains which are the feel good chemicals and the building blocks of positive feelings towards each other. Put the science of it all to one side for a minute though, and it’s plain to see, playing with dogs can be a lot of fun for kids and sure to make any one happier for it too!
So as you can see, these are just five ways that a child would be happy with a dog and how dogs can make children happy. And not just happy in the short term, but happier and healthier in the long run as well. Through all of that playing and interaction, through looking after them. And for just being good friends!
And after all, dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” Simply because they are so loyal an animal. So loving and so caring for those that care for them. Dogs love to be looked after, cared for, fed, walked, petted and cuddled (most of them anyway)! But dogs are always usually playful as are children, so it’s a perfect match!
A Dog Is For Life Not Just for Christmas
You may have seen the bumper sticker on the back of a car or somewhere else like at your local vets perhaps. Where they say “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.” And that’s so true! But why do they say that exactly? What does that mean specifically? Let’s talk about and discuss that saying.
Some people get their child a pet dog for Christmas. And it’s all fun and laughs at first. But then eventually, when they realize they need to keep taking that dog for walks, feeding and watering it. Picking up after it! Paying for veterinary bills, injections, etc., etc. The novelty soon runs out, and they end up neglecting the dog or taking it to the kennels and abandoning it completely.
That’s why, whenever you are getting a dog before you do, you should make yourself aware of the responsibilities involved with keeping a pet dog. You should ask yourself these following questions and then based on your answers; you’ll better know whether it’s a good idea for your family to get a dog or not.
– Can we afford all the food and vet bills?
– Can we afford the insurance? (recommended)
– Will we have the time to devote to it?
– Will we want to take it for walks every day?
– How many walks will it need a day?
– Who will take it for a walk?
– What type/breed of dog should we get?
– How much destruction of the household can we bear?
– What are we looking to get out of owning a dog?
Ask yourself these 10 questions and write the answers down. From the answers formed from them, you’ll know whether you should get a dog or not. And you’ll know what the general devotion to that dog will be like. Dogs do require a lot of attention and devotion (especially as puppies)! But they give back a lot more love, devotion, loyalty and happiness through fun times and memories they create. Dogs aren’t just for Christmas – dogs are for life!
About The Author
I’m Alica Jefferson owner of hellowdog.com, and I also have two beautiful children, I am a woman who loves to travel, socialize, fishing, gardening, and reading. In addition to my two dogs. In short, I am just like you a woman with a day to day life who is passionate about the care of her dogs and wishes to share that with all of you. Follow me on Twitter & like my FaceBook page.
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Also published on Medium.