Many parents are no stranger to the constant nagging for a family pet. To children, a dog to play with is way cooler than any friend or computer game could ever be. But did you know that a family dog can actually benefit your child in numerous ways? It’s not all playing and fun – although there is a lot of that – a dog can encourage a child to become more responsible, compassionate, and healthy as well.
1. Encourages responsible behavior
Children love their pets – they become their best friends and closest confident, so they want to make sure they’re happy and healthy. Having a family pet can encourage children to become nurturing and compassionate, as they’ll take responsibility for the dog’s wellbeing. Having to feed, water, and clean up after their dog is an experience that a child can’t get with any other hobby. The also require patience – dogs are frustrating at times, chewing and breaking things, making a whole lot of noise, and generally getting in the way. Children learn to restrain themselves and not lash out when they’re frustrated as a result.
2. They’ll always have a friend
Childhood is a difficult time. Friendships are easily won and easily lost, and some children struggle with this more than others. A family dog in the house can be a great comfort for a child who is not particularly sociable, or struggles with bullying. It gives them someone to play with when other kids aren’t an option but also can boost a child’s confidence and socialize them, so they feel happier when it comes to making friends.
3. Good for their health
Dogs need to be taken outside numerous times in a day to do their business, but they also need to run around and burn off energy. Kids who take their dogs to the park every day are getting fresh air and exercise that other children just don’t get. It encourages them to enjoy being outside more than being attached to a computer game, and it gives them a good run around too. Visit https://topdogtips.com/ for some great ideas for outdoor activities with your dog. There’s even evidence to suggest that having a family dog makes children less likely to develop allergies in the future, and the exposure to different bacteria from a dog can even boost a child’s immune system. Is there nothing a family dog can’t do?
4. Dogs strengthen the family unit
A pet gives a family a mutual interest and extends the number of activities in which the family can partake together. While walks in the countryside are a great way to spend an afternoon, simply laughing at the dog doing stupid things together is an excellent way to spend time as a family.
Most of all, dogs are fun. They wrestle, they play fetch and tug of war, they run into things and try to chase their tails, and they give the world’s best cuddles. And coming home from school to a wagging tail has to be the best feeling ever.