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6 Important Reasons Why Kids Absolutely Must Grow Up With Dogs

Amber is the Branded Content Editor at LittleThings. She currently resides in Manhattan.

It’s probably a given that your children want a pet, but should you get them one?

If you’re already a pet owner, you know that they are as much a part of the family as any two-legged member. Sure, dogs specifically play an important role in many people’s lives, but did you know that growing up with a dog actually benefits the health and well-being of children?

Growing up with a pet can be wonderful for kids for a number of reasons. They help them build relationships, boost their self-esteem, lower their stress levels, and help them stay healthy. Dogs are not only a source of unconditional love, they can also help teach responsibility and cooperation!

If your kids have been begging for a dog, you should consider how beneficial one can be for the family.

Adopting a pet is a huge commitment and should not be taken lightly. However, it might be the best thing you could ever do for your kids’ childhood experience.

Read on to see the many amazing ways that having a dog can benefit your little ones!

Why Adopt A Dog?

Why Adopt A Dog?
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

For generations, kids have begged their parents for a pet dog. Of course, kids tend to think of all the good, fun benefits of having a pet. Parents, on the other hand, may be thinking about the responsibility and costs that come with one.

If your little ones really, really want a dog, and you think it’s finally time, it’s important to make sure that the dog is going to be a good fit and that it will get along with the children.

Research in the medical journal Pediatrics shows that children who live in a home with a pet during their first year of life are more likely to be healthier, compared with kids who don’t live in a pet-owning household.

Your family may greatly benefit from having a dog, so if you haven’t already experienced the joy of dog adoption, here are a few reasons it might be time to save a shelter pup.

#1: Constant Companionship

#1: Constant Companionship
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

“Dogs are a man’s best friend” isn’t just a saying, it’s the honest truth! Dogs are sweet, smart animals who make wonderful companions.

Sometimes childhood isn’t always easy; a pet will provide constant companionship through the ups and downs. Dogs can also be a great source of comfort for kids, giving them unconditional love. 

It goes without saying that dogs are incredibly fun to be with. For most people, they become an irreplaceable member of the family.

#2: Caring For A Dog Encourages A More Active Lifestyle

#2: Caring For A Dog Encourages A More Active Lifestyle
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Having a dog is a great way to encourage children to go outside and exercise instead of being glued to the TV or computer screen.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health finds that children with dogs get more physical activity than their petless peers.

Whether it’s to walk the dog or running and playing outside, the physical exercise that comes with having a dog will benefit a kid’s overall health.

#3: Having A Pet Is A Great Way To Teach Responsibility To Kids

#3: Having A Pet Is A Great Way To Teach Responsibility To Kids
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Even though having a pet can be awesome, it’s a big responsibility.

Pets need love, care, and devotion, so having a dog teaches children how to properly take care of their furry friend.

Kids quickly learn responsibility just by fulfilling simple tasks like grooming, feeding, or walking the dog.

#4: Kids Learning To Read Often Feel More Comfortable Reading Aloud To A Pet

#4: Kids Learning To Read Often Feel More Comfortable Reading Aloud To A Pet
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dogs are like best friends, and they can make great reading buddies.

If you have a child who is nervous about reading in front of other kids or adults, he or she can practice reading to a pup at home.

Because a pet will love your child no matter what he or she says, a dog offers a safe ear for kids working to gain confidence in their reading skills.

#5: Cuddling A Pet Reduces Stress, Loneliness, And Anxiety

#5: Cuddling A Pet Reduces Stress, Loneliness, And Anxiety
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Did you know that simply petting or cuddling your pup can make you feel better?

According to research by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Pet owners are less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression than non-pet owners.”

The study also found that pets can assist with a wide range of issues including anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress, and other disorders.

Oxytocin, a hormone known to aid in social bonding and in reducing anxiety, could also have a part to play. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found evidence that humans who interact with dogs see an increase in their oxytocin levels.

Dogs don’t just provide your family with love and constant companionship, they also have a positive effect on your health.

#6: Children With Pets Display Improved Social Skills And Self-Esteem

#6: Children With Pets Display Improved Social Skills And Self-Esteem
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to the Pet Health Council, kids who have pets have higher self-esteem and improved social skills.

“Children with low-self esteem may talk to, or confide in, an animal in ways they would not with people,” the report concluded. “They are often more confident in performing tasks they find difficult with an animal simply because the animal does not care if mistakes are made, nor will the child be afraid of looking silly in front of the animal.”

There are a lot of things to consider when making the decision to get a pet, so take your time when thinking about what type of dog is the best for your whole family.

Need more reasons to want to add a dog to your family? Watch Pedigree‘s latest and most emotional ad yet to see why the dogs we adopt actually end up helping us as much as we help them.

If you believe every child should grow up with a dog, please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Thumbnail Source: Wikimedia Commons

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