Introducing a pooch as the newest member of the family can not only be beneficial for yourself, but it can be especially rewarding for your little one, too. Believe it or not, furry four-legged friends can teach your child a thing or two about values that any parent would hope their child grows up with. The friendship between humans and dogs may not make your eyes light with surprise, but the benefits that dogs pose on children may be astonishing enough to be the hot topic at the next dinner party.
Dogs Boost Child’s Self-Esteem
Yes, you read correctly. Having an ear to listen, a nonjudgmental companion to love them, and a friend to talk to can increase your child’s self-esteem, studies say. Pooches can also help improve your child’s reading skills, as little ones often associate a dog’s enthusiastic ear and wagging tail with positive encouragement. By giving them the confidence needed to consistently practice reading, your child, with the help of a precious pooch, will become the star of his or her class.
Dogs Teach Kids Responsibility
Whether they’re helping you bathe Fido or they’re putting out tonight’s doggy dinner, your child will learn the value of responsibility. While it’s unlikely that they’ll be injecting Spot with his daily medicine, simply seeing you care for the dog will teach your youngin’ that dogs, just like humans, require food, shelter, and love.
Dogs Strengthen Kids’ Immune System
Scientists have proven that the presence of a family dog can help boost your toddler’s immune system, especially if they are in their first year of life. By exposing them to enough germs during the crucial time when their body is building up the strength to fight against infections, your child’s body will learn how to fight off germs and they will ultimately be left with a stronger immune system. Though it may sound harmful, in actuality, owning a dog can decrease the risk of allergies by 50%. That’s enough reason to own a pup in itself!
Dogs Decrease Loneliness in Kids
If a child grows up in a home where both parents are working and siblings are off to school, a family dog can serve as a companion and friend. Providing security and trust, children often feel like they have someone to share their secrets with, confident that their pal will remain loyal to them. By having someone to talk to and play with, your child will never feel lonely or anxious again.
Dogs Provide Services For Kids
Service dogs are used for a variety of things, including assisting children with autism, hearing problems, mobility issues, and other disabilities. Eileen Weick, a DogVacay host, uses a trained pooch for her autistic son who learned how to give her and her husband a hug (read more about Eileen and her son here). Clearly, specially trained service dogs give children an enhanced life, independence, and hope.
Though owning a dog is a responsibility in itself, the benefits they can have on your child are aplenty. If you don’t want to commit to a fully-grown pooch and instead wish to start out small, here are some things to consider before getting a puppy.