By Abby Christensen
There are a lot of pets to choose from out there — cats, lizards, birds — but none of them quite compare to man’s best friend: the dog. When you look into the data, the benefits of having a dog in your and your child’s life outweigh the stresses of training one or paying their vet bills. Keep reading to find out what specific benefits kids gain from being around these precious pooches.
Kids and Dogs
Aside from the fact that dogs give children someone to play with, they also provide health and behavior benefits. For example, dogs decrease the risk of a child developing a cold, ear infection, eczema, asthma, and obesity. While those things alone may be reason enough to get a puppy for your child, they also build good temperaments in kids and provide ongoing comfort for them.
Dogs Help Kids Physically and Emotionally
There are many benefits of exposing your child to dogs early in their life. Check out these 10 specific ways dogs can improve childrens’ lives:
- Kids who grow up having or being around dogs have a more positive youth development compared to kids without dogs around.
- Babies who are exposed to dogs are less likely to get colds and ear infections as infants.
- Babies exposed to dogs also have a smaller chance of becoming obese and developing eczema.
- Dogs are known to be capable of sniffing out childhood leukemia.
- Dogs help elementary aged children be less aggressive and more sensitive.
- Dogs improve playfulness in children with developmental diagnoses such as autism.
- Children with a dog have higher self-esteem.
- Kids sleep better with a dog in their bedroom.
- Dogs help decrease fear and anxiety after traumas.
- Kids who spend time around a dog have a stronger immune system than those who don’t spend time around them.
Not Sure About Getting a Dog?
It’s probably safe to say that no matter how beneficial dogs can be in your life, not everyone is a dog person or is in a place to care for one. Before you start asking around about dogs available for adoption, make sure your whole family is on board with the idea and you’re ready for the added responsibility.
If you have some reservations about committing to owning a dog, you can also opt to foster from a local shelter or start a pet walking and sitting business to start exposing your child to dogs without committing to be a full-time dog parent. This is a great way to find a breed that fits your family or decide if you want to adopt a sweet pup for your baby to grow up with.
If after reading all these benefits you’ve decided you want your baby to be around dogs and you’ve simplified your life enough to have time to care for one, look through the visual below with more ways dogs can benefit you and your family. The evidence of how dogs benefit kids as well as how they can positively impact your own health and well-being may just convince the rest of your family that they need a dog as well.
Abby is a Content Marketing Specialist developing high-quality content for various industries including finance and lifestyle. Her work can be seen featured on sites like Casper and Annuity.org. Read more of her posts on Honest Paws.