Being a dog lover and always having a dog right under my bed from the day I was born, I can vouch for the benefits of having dogs for children.
I have noticed that kids and dogs always seem to go hand in hand; even a baby gets fascinated when there is a dog around!
We all know just how much kids love animals, and it is an established fact that keeping pets for children is vital for their overall development.
And not only do good pets enhance the nature of the child or pet owner, these large or small animals even teach, delight, and offer a special kind of companionship.
“Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans.” ~ Robert Wagner
Pets for children are so important, for the children also learn compassion, responsibility, and empathy from them.
Pets are never critical and don’t give orders, so much unlike parents! Instead, they always love and their mere presence at home provides a sense of security in children.
I remember when I was a child, my parents always made sure I was surrounded by various good pets like dogs, cats, and we even had many pigeons, rabbits, and fishes in our house!
But somehow I always had a soft corner and have loved dogs, especially their expressive eyes that say so much, cuddly fur, and loving gestures that melts my heart.
I think having good pets for children help develop their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. Thus, after having been raised with a dog always by my side and knowing the benefits of having dogs for children, I too have one at home so that my kids pick up these same values from this wonderful friendly animal.
And yes, we have named him Snoopy (as he loves to snoop around!).
Benefits of Having Dogs for Children
I feel these benefits would go for any kind of pets for children, or even for adults!
- They can help ease our loneliness and be the best of companions.
- They help promote social interaction.
- They help boost self-esteem and self-confidence.
- They help increase the emotional intelligence of kids, as having dogs is a great way to teach them empathy.
- They teach kids values like being kind, gentle, caring, and loving.
- They help children develop responsible behavior and care-taking skills.
- They teach respect for animals, and offer a real bond with the natural world.
- They provide opportunities to learn about the life process like birth, reproduction, health, recovery, death, etc.
- They offer security and stability. Nearly 70% of kids confide in their pets and share secrets with them, knowing they will not be betrayed.
- They reduce stress and tension, and pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
- Those with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations, lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than those without pets.
- Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
- They encourage exercise and playfulness.
- They provide us with unconditional love and affection.
- They keep kids fit and healthy, and children have fewer sick days off school.
- They help kids fight off asthma and allergies. According to a study, kids who live with dogs are 50% less likely to ever develop allergies. This happens because of the compound Endotoxins that exists in the mouth of dogs. Kids are exposed to these compounds as they constantly play with their dog, thus have a lower risk of developing allergies.
- A pet needn’t be a dog or a cat. Even watching rabbits in your garden or fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and pulse rate.
One of the primary reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Thus, holding, stroking, cuddling, of touching a loving animal can calm and soothe us when we are stressed.
There is a natural bond that develops between pets and children, and owning a pet can help a child to grow into a caring adult.
“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” ~ James Cromwell
Kids and dogs are a natural fit, and the benefits of having dogs for children are unmatched. Certain dogs for children with a good temperament and moderate energy level work wonders.
Some breeds that tend to do great with children are the Bichon Frise, Poodle, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever, Beagle, Collie and Shetland Sheepdog, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Bulldog, Vizsla, and German Shepherd.
Above all, any pet is great fun- though I would always vouch for dogs! They can make you laugh, even if you have had a terrible day, are always there wagging their tail with happiness when you return home, and ready for a reassuring hug when you need it.
At the end of the day, I guess all a dog really wants to give you, its owner is happiness.
Do you have any pets? How and what have they given you? Are you also a dog lover like me? Do you also feel there are benefits of having dogs for children or even adults? Share your experiences about the pets you have in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Tina Phillips
Posted on: February 3rd, 2012
Last Updated on: March 17th, 2015