How Having a Dog Can Help Your Child

Raising a child is hard even at the best of times and any help is greatly appreciated. Though they aren’t the first thing most parents consider regarding child-raising, dog’s can offer plenty; from lessons on friendship and communication to health benefits.

A recent study in Rome revealed how children prefer dogs to all other animals. This makes sense as they are, after all, one of the most expressive and loyal animals on the planet. Other studies have shown that dogs and children treat their owners and parents alike. With so many similarities, there’s plenty to be gained from bringing dogs and children together.

Health

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, research suggests that dogs can actually prevent your child from developing allergies, asthma, and help build up their immune systems. In a study by the University of California, it was revealed that children who were exposed to dogs from a young age were better able to combat microbes that led to the development of such problems.

Dogs are active animals and aren’t liable to sit and spend hours staring at an illuminated screen. Dogs encourage and compel children to play outdoors, and be more physically active. It is often forgotten that a child’s physical development is as important as their mental development. A dog is a constant reminder, both for children and parents, that exercise and fresh air is important for growing bodies.

Communication

Children often have no shortage of places to learn human-to-human communication. They learn both directly, and being constantly in adult and child-populated environments. Something that a dog can offer, however, is an understanding of a very different kind of communication.

Dogs express themselves all the time, but their expressions are often wildly different to the verbal and gesture-based communication children become used to. By learning 寵物移民 that a wagging tail or a bowed head mean something important to a dog, children develop a more diverse and interpretive concept of language.

Sociability

While parents tend to focus on how their children act with and around others, there are times when children can become stressed, overloaded, or even fatigued by so much social interaction. Many children also take a little longer to develop the required skills for face-to-face interactions, and can grow shy or reticent to engage with others.

In such cases, and even more extreme ones like autism, a dog can be a Godsend. As a positive, engaging, and social presence without judgment, the complexities of language, or the intimidation of being an authority figure, dogs can allow children to explore their own sense of selves, and the more simple aspects of friendships. The benefits of dogs in such cases have long been understood; dogs have even been used in treating autistic children, or in juvenile delinquent facilities.

Responsibility

One of the most important aspects of any child’s development is taking on and learning about responsibility. Pets offer a perfect way to show children how taking responsibility can benefit them in both the short and long term. Since children tend to care deeply about their pets, the sense of a dog’s dependence on them can help them understand implicitly the link between looking after something, and the moral benefits you get in return.

Another great lesson for children is that taking care of a dog can be fun. Taking them for walks, bathing them – even feeding them – can be entertaining for children, and getting them used to the idea that responsibilities don’t always have to be mundane chores will be a welcome idea for the children themselves.

Loyalty between Child and Dog

Few humans are as unconditionally loyal and forgiving as a dog, and if there’s one thing children need more than anything else when growing it is stability. No parent is perfect, but while parents can (and frequently do!) get upset with children, or show exasperation, the average dog’s loyalty can provide a sense of permanent and unshakeable friendship that stressed parents can sometimes struggle with.

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