If I told you there’s one change that will make your child happier, healthier, more content and more responsible, would you make it? It’s called a dog. And yes, it comes with a catch (a list of them actually) – it makes your house dirtier and noisier, it limit your flexibility and it increases your monthly expenses. But boy – is it worth it? Yes, it is!
If you’re a parent, here’s a list of the main benefits of having a dog that you’ll see in the long term.
Surprisingly, some new researches show that children who grew up with dogs are usually more open to differences in people and animals later in life. By having a dog in their life, children learn that some people like dogs, others don’t. Hence – people are different, but they can still be our friends, even if they don’t have our lifestyle and make different choices.
As simple as that. Dogs love to play and chase as much as kids do, so by having a dog in the house, you’re having some sort of free childcare. You always have to supervise, but the older they get, the more they’ll enjoy each other’s company.
Whatever your family goes through, no matter how stressed and angry you feel sometimes, there will be one pair of eyes in the house that will always look at all of you with love, affection and admiration. A dog can offer your child such a level of unconditional love that even you, as a parent, are sometimes struggling to show, when things are not going so well.
Researchers are positive that early exposure to pet allergens and pet-related bacteria strengthens the immune system in infants, accustoms the body to allergens, and helps the child build up a natural immunity.
By having a dog in the house in your child’s early years you’re actually investing in they lifelong health.
That’s not news, but this is one of the most important benefits of having a dog, especially if your child doesn’t have other siblings. The constant sense of responsibility to walk, feed and look after a pet teaches kids how to care for others and that you can’t always put yourself first.
Having a strong bond with a pet enhances natural empathy in children. If the dog is sad or hurt, the child will make an effort to entertain the dog, similar to what they would do for their parents. Also – dogs like to show where the limits are, and if a young child is too pushy (e.g. pulling the dog’s ears for long time or disturbing them while eating), the dog might tell the kid off, which teaches them they have to respect others’ moods and personal space.