6 Reasons Why Your Child Needs a Dog

If your child has been begging for a dog, here are some reasons why you’ll want to get on board with the idea.

Dogs are a commitment and a responsibility. And when your child asks for one, it’s hard to look past the extra work that it entails…and you believe that you’ll be left holding the bag! But having a pet offers a wealth of other benefits, besides teaching your kid about responsibility. From emotional bonds and social interaction to increased physical activities, here are six reasons (among many) why your child needs a dog or cat to call their own:

Strengthen the Immune System

According to the Medical Journal of Pediatrics, children and infants with a dog in the home have fewer viral infections than kids without dogs. This is because the kids with dogs have more exposure to germs, dirt and bacteria, which helps boost their immune system. Thanks to their stronger immune system, these children are less likely to pick up infections and colds from school.

Increased Physical Activity

It’s hard to concentrate on video games with a big fur ball in your lap, whimpering to go outside. Dogs are a wonderful way to get children moving—your kids will naturally spend time interacting with the dog, playing games of fetch, tag, or walking.

Really Good Listeners

The best person to talk to can often be a dog, especially when it comes to kids. Dogs are often used in learn-to-read programs. That’s because pooches boast a naturally non-judgmental nature. Thanks to these therapy dogs, pups can help boost self-esteem among youngsters struggling with their ABCs. By reading aloud to their canine, kids learn to connect reading with a fun, inter-active and pleasant experience.

Let’s Get Social

If you want your child to gain important social skills, a dog will help them hone these important traits. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, your child will learn how important compassion and empathy are. Being a little pet owner teaches them the benefits and importance of caregiving.

Reduce Loneliness and Anxiety

Dogs have excellent listening skills, they demonstrate unconditional love, and they don’t talk back. These qualities allow a child to freely express who they are. And besides, sometimes parents just don’t understand you…but a dog will!

Stress Relief

When you pet a dog, oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection, is released in the body—and that goes for both dog and human. This chemical reaction can help reduce stress levels, regulate breathing, and lower blood pressure.

On top of these invaluable life skills, training a dog will show your child how to take a steady, consistent approach to getting the desired results. Helping teach your child to train his new pet also encourages patience, routine and how to read the cues of what works and what doesn’t.  These are skills that will follow your child as he grows up to be an adult, when he can pass down everything he’s learned to his kids!

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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