Why Children Should Grow Up With Dogs
Most of us have grown up with an animal by our side. And while we were doing so, little did we realize that apart from creating fond memories, we were building our own personality. At the time, we didn’t understand why we were allowed to have a pet – maybe because of its cuteness, maybe because of the companionship we ought to have gotten, or maybe because we wanted someone to bring in the newspaper every morning. Whatever the reason, our pets have had a major influence on our lives.
Did you know, 62% of households in the United States has a companion animal? And dogs are, by far, the most popular choice of pets.
So what does make it important for a child to grow up with a dog? Here are a few reasons:
1. Children with dogs tend to fall less sick:
The Kuopio University Hospital in Finland conducted a study that showed babies who live with dogs during their first year are one-third more likely to avoid respiratory illnesses and other infections as compared to those kids who do not live with dogs.
Another study by the Journal of Pediatrics showed that the kids who lived with a dog had 31% fewer respiratory infections and a higher immune response than those who didn’t.
2. Kids get more physical activity:
It is obvious how owning a dog will need a lot of exercise. Kids, therefore, will tend to spend more time outdoors playing with their companion than sitting indoors on video games. Dogs need to be walked and played with for several hours every day. And if they don’t get what they need, they are not ones to just sit and wait. With children having to constantly take them out for exercise, they get healthier resulting in better bodies and better minds.
3. Dogs are known to help reduce stress in kids with Autism:
A study conducted by the University of Montreal showed that having a service dog around drastically reduces the stress hormones of a child with Autism. There is a drop in behavioral problems as well.
4. Children learn to be responsible:
Dogs are a daily commitment. It is an honor to be a dog’s provider and requires a lot of work and patience. Making sure the dog has food and water to taking it out on time, instills the sense of responsibility in a child. And with a sense of responsibility comes a higher self-esteem.
5. The development of important social skills:
Apart from responsibility, dogs teach children to ‘read’ the feelings of those around them. Sharing, being social, and working in a group are skills that children learn from dogs. And like you know, there is no book out there that can teach children the most important qualities of all – friendship, loyalty, understanding, and honesty. Only dogs have the ability to do this.
6. Most importantly – dogs teach compassion:
Children are not born into this world with any qualities. They are taught. They watch and learn. They only know their needs. The best way for them to learn good qualities is with a dog. They are excellent teachers of empathy and compassion. They understand the needs of others and how it is okay to sometimes compromise and be unselfish.
It is also said that children who grow up with dogs tend to be kinder and more understanding than those who do not.
7. And lastly, constant companionship:
Sometimes childhood can be rough. And sometimes all a child wants is someone they can talk to. They may not come to you. And it is seen, most often, children find it easier to just have someone who will listen to them – they find it easier to talk to their dog. Dogs can be a great source of comfort for kids. Whenever a child is angry, sad, or afraid, they can always turn to their pets.
At AnimalPlex, we believe that every pet is unique. And every pet deserves love and attention. We provide a number of resources for pet parents to better understand their pet’s needs. After all, a happy pet results in a happy owner.