As people grow older and start their own families, many become apprehensive about getting a dog. The busyness and chaos of life are certainly present at this time in life. Between trying to raise babies, juggling work, and keeping a house clean — adding ONE more responsibility on top of everything might just sound crazy!
Although these animals do require life-long care, attention, and responsibility from their owners, the pros of bringing a dog into your young family most certainly outweigh the cons.
For your children, there are so many memories to have and lessons to teach with a pet that will stay with them for their entire lives. We’ve consolidated our hundreds of reasons into just 5 Ways Kids Benefit From Having a Dog:
Dogs Are a Built-In BFF!
Childhood isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can be hard to make friends, or maybe your children find it extra challenging to get along with each other. Or perhaps, your child is an only child and doesn’t have playmates at home.
A dog is not only a friend and a family member, but also the best playmate, cuddler, listener, and companion to your little one. It creates consistency in your child’s life, as they learn they can always rely on their furry friend. This can also help your child be a better friend to other children in their lives!
Dogs Teach Responsibility
No matter how old or young your child is, the responsibility of caring for another family member is so much more meaningful than any other household chore. It provides a sense of purpose and a real understanding of commitment, as your child can see the direct impact of their actions on another being. So when your kids are begging you for a dog, promising that they will feed and walk them, take them up on it! They may surprise you, and the responsibility will, in turn, teach them the best lessons from an early age.
Not only does having a dog give your child a sense of responsibility, but acting on those responsibilities builds your child’s self-esteem over time. When a child feels successful in completing tasks, especially on a consistent schedule, they feel a sense of pride and ownership in their day-to-day routine. Think about it: As an adult, there is still such a feeling of accomplishment that comes from sticking to a routine. You walk through every day with much more confidence and self-esteem in knowing that you have held yourself accountable! Giving that gift of routine and pride to your child is something that will build their confidence over time.
Dogs Make Your Child Healthier
It’s a well-known fact that a dog can benefit a child’s physical health, as having a dog requires constant attention through playtime, walks around the neighborhood, and more! But did you know that studies have shown children with dogs have a decreased chance of developing allergies? Not only do dogs benefit your child’s physical health, but they have a dramatically positive effect on their mental health as well — which is arguably just as, if more, important!
Teaches Compassion and Empathy
Having a dog benefits your child’s overall emotional intelligence. By learning at an early age how to nurture and care for a dependent animal, a child’s sense of compassion and empathy grows as they understand and assist in the physical and emotional needs of their dog. This then translates to their empathy towards their friends and family, as they care more about how their actions can impact the physical and emotional wellbeing of others. Watch your children become more caring citizens of the world, at home, at school, and beyond!