Kids and Dogs Together Have Many Benefits
There are many benefits of kids and dogs growing up together. When you own a pet you teach your child compassion, trust, patience, respect and responsibility.
You also helps kids with their self-esteem, can reduce stress and lead to happier and healthier kids. Having a dog in the house is pure magic for kids.
Dogs and kids form a close bond with high-energy play and have a huge amount of fun together. They also have a warm, furry companion for nap-time.
We found numerous studies showing that a young child with a dog leads to improved mental health. But that is only one of the many benefits of kids and dogs interacting.
Our list below shows some of the variety of benefits for families looking to own a dog.
What Are The Benefits of Kids and Dogs?
When kids are given responsibility to carry out certain tasks it leads to higher self-seteem. Make sure you give kids tasks that are appropriate for their age.
For example, a 3 year old could fill the water or food bowl but not lead the daily walk.
An increase in self-esteem is also found with the unconditional love given from a dog to their child. No matter how bad the day has been a dog will greet you with complete excitement EVERY time!
If your child is upset, angry or sad a dog will offer unconditional support. Children often name their dog as someone they go to if they are having problems.
By having faith and always being supported by their pet they are able to trust themselves and other relationships. We all know that a dog never judges or criticizes and trust is a great benefit of kids and dogs.
Become More Compassionate
A dog in the house will teach kids to care and nurture for another being. They learn to be kind and care for others and will teach empathy.
Pets have needs too and these must be met, even when kids don’t really feel like doing the chores.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
It has been shown that petting a dog will lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone and is high during the fight-flight response and when under pressure.
With high levels of autism, ADD and ADHD in children anything that reduces cortisol can be very beneficial.
Benefits of kids and dogs is not only limited to hyperactivity disorders. Think children from troubled homes or those with PTSD where the love of a dog will bring security and comfort.
More Active Children
A top benefit of kids and dogs is that they are more active and studies show up to 11 minutes more per day.
A child with a dog spends more time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine and away from devices.
All dogs regardless of size, love to be played with. Kids love to play too, so there is a natural synergy between the two.
The benefits are even greater if you take your child or children with you when you walk the dog.
Improves Cognitive Skills
Even when children are learning to talk you will see them babbling away to their dog. The bond they share gives them the confidence to chatter away to a captive and non-judgemental audience.
By opening up and spending time chatting to their dog kids develop their cognitive language skills.
To own a dog you must exercise them. Include your kids in the walk to give the ideal opportunity for conversation with you and whoever you meet.
Also, studies show that children who have pets, especially dogs, develop better social skills. They are more aware of others and become considerate adults.
Apart from being outside and being more active there are more health benefits of kids and dogs.
Kids who have a dog in the house during their first year of life build a better immune system. In 2012 a team of Finnish researchers discovered fewer respiratory tract problems in kids with a dog in the house.
If your child does get sick, having a dog in the house results in a quicker recovery and less antibiotics. Dogs keep all members of the family happier, which means they are less prone to getting sick.
Get The Right Type of Dog For Kids
To get the best benefits of kids and dogs it is important that you choose the right type of dog. There are many factors to consider.
- Size is important depending on your living arrangements – it could be difficult to have a Great Dane in a 2 bedroom apartment.
- Activity levels matter also. With smaller children it may be easier to have a dog with a more laid back temperament. Kelpies and working dogs are better suited to a farm than an enclosed back yard.
- Consider shedding in the house and also allergies if relevant.
Check with breeders about your lifestyle, activity levels and temperament with kids before you select your companion.
The Right Breed Gives The Best Benefits of Kids and Dogs
Your dog will become an important member of the family so to reap the benefits of kids and dogs, make sure you get the right breed.
You will find plenty of puppies for sale all across the country with hundreds of different types available.
Whatever type of dog you end up with remember the above list of benefits that kids get from spending time with their dog.
Manuel is our resident proud stay at home Dad of 2 young children – 3yo and 16 months! Manuel used to be a journalist for his local newspaper but with his wife climbing the corporate ladder they decided that Manuel would quit his job and stay home with the kids – which he describes as “the best thing that has ever happened to me!”. Manuel loves being the stay at home parent and navigating the world of stay at home Dads and the stereotypes that come with that.