Friendship, comfort and support are some qualities found in our canine friends. Here are 5 reasons why every kid should grow up with a dog.
Every Kid Should Grow Up With a Dog
A lot of our friends have adopted dogs (or cats) this last year to keep their kids and themselves company while in lockdown. Also it gives them something to do other than watch a screen.
Some parents worry about the contact between their kids and animals. While there is certainly good reason for this apprehension, growing up with pets, especially dogs, can lend your child skills and traits that they would otherwise have more difficulty acquiring. This is why every kid should grow up with a dog.
While it is certainly true that spending time with an animal comes with some risks – of disease, of injury, and there is of course the inevitable grief once the pet passes away – the pros still heavily outway the cons.
5 Reasons Why Every Kid Should Grow Up with a Dog
- Healthier Kids
- Mental Health
- Teach Empathy
1 – Growing up with dogs makes kids healthier
While some still believe that dogs pose a health threat to their young kids, the truth is actually that being exposed to a dog in early life can keep your child healthier later in life.
As long as your dog is healthy and clean, they won’t be able to pass on any particularly dangerous disease to your child. This will of course mean that you need to bathe the dog regularly, wipe its paws after a walk, and try to prevent it from bringing a huge amount of mud and dirt into the home. As is only natural.
Growing up around a dog can also help your child develop less allergies, so don’t dismiss the idea of a pet just because you’ve been told it’s not good for the baby. Both science and pet owners agree: having a pet as a child is an amazing experience.
2 – Dogs are great for our mental health
Dogs also have this amazing ability to positively impact our mental health. They can help us relax and forget about the daily stresses of our lives. They will love our kids unconditionally, which is especially important for kids who have issues with their confidence levels, or who may be having a hard time at school.
Children who have grown up with dogs are less likely to experience severe anxiety as they get older, and they are likely to develop a better sense of self.
Dogs just make you laugh, which can be a very welcome distraction when you need it. They will be there for a hug and a cuddle, and won’t ask anything about your day, they’ll love you regardless.
3 – Dogs can teach your kids empathy
Empathy is one of those character traits that is very difficult to completely understand. Some people seem to inherently possess very large quantities of it, while others simply can’t experience it, no matter how hard someone tries to explain it to them.
Children who have grown up around dogs are much more likely to be sensitive to how others are feeling, they are more likely to be caring and gentle, and they will have this innate ability to be compassionate and loving, both around animals and towards humans.
It can be very difficult to teach empathy otherwise. After all, it’s not exactly a lesson you can summarize easily, or one that is meant to be understood. It’s much more about feeling it, and a dog provides an excellent way for learning this ability early on.
4 – Dogs will teach your kids how to be responsible
Parents often decide to get their kids a pet in order to teach them responsibility. However, there is a catch here.
If your child wants the pet and is ready to bond with them and take care of them, the lesson of responsibility will certainly be learned. If they on the other hand show no interest in the animal and don’t actually want to take care of them – chances are the lesson will miss its mark.
Talk to your child about introducing a dog into your family. If they are excited, outline the responsibilities involved. They will have to feed them, walk them, play with them, go with them to the vet, help bathe them, train them, and so on.
If they are ready to give up a portion of their free time to make sure their new pet is healthy and happy, you can rest assured that the responsibility lesson will sink in over time.
Having a dog is an excellent way to prepare for a lot of life’s challenges. There’s the going out in the rain when you would rather stay indoors. There’s picking up after them which is far from pleasant. Also, there’s the teaching them not to do certain things.
A challenging, but very rewarding and fun experience your kids will cherish for their entire lives.
5 – Dogs are a man’s best friend
Finally, when you get your child a dog, you will be forming a friendship that will last a lifetime. There’s a reason why dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. They are loyal, they care for their humans to the death, and they are just a ball of joy, energy and fun.
This relationship will help your child form other relationships as well. It will help them open up and become more social, and it can help them overcome their natural shyness.
Dogs are reliable as well, and will serve as a source of comfort for as long as they are with your child. That is why every kid should have a dog!
How to choose a dog?
If you are now convinced the time is ripe for getting a dog for the family, you will want to consider the kind of dog you get.
Consider the size of your home, whether or not you have outdoor space, and most importantly, your lifestyle. Some dogs will require plenty of exercise and will need to be trained more thoroughly. Labradors are such dogs – amazing with kids, but tend to be a bit stubborn, and require a decent workout. Trust me, I have two!
On the other hand, a dog like the Havanese is much smaller, requires less exercise, and is again great with kids and an amazing companion.
You don’t have to go for a very popular breed either. There are so many wonderful dogs that you may never have heard of that will be an amazing addition to your family! Consider adopting a dog if you can, and give their story a happy ending.
Before we part ways
I’d love to know if you’ve grown up with a dog yourself, and if your kids have one of their own now? How have you come to settle on your furry family member? Let me know in the comments!
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