10 Reasons To Raise Your Child With A Dog


It is a sad and all too familiar occurrence that couples put their dog up for adoption shortly after having a baby.

Mostly the excuses given, are that they just don’t have the time anymore that the dog deserves now that they have a baby and that they also want the best for their baby and make sure the baby stays safe.

Whilst it is fully understandable that late nights and early mornings with constant feeds in between will have parents exhausted and stretched to their limits, we need to remember that our dog was there first, did not choose to have a baby and should not be punished with adoption for it.  Even if you cannot afford the same amount of time and attention than before, it is still better to have less attention than to get adopted, or worse, be put in a pound.

Your dog will adapt and as soon as your baby starts crawling around and your child will have a wonderful play pal by their side, giving them an incredibly enriching experience.

The health benefits that animals offer children.

Did you know that raising your child with a pet have several health benefits to your child?

Improved immune system.

Children growing up with animals are far less likely to develop allergies and asthma than their little counterparts growing up in a sterile environment without animals.  Granted that some dogs are more likely to affect and trigger allergies, but if that is the case there are a lot of options to remedy this. You can read our article about hypoallergenic dogs which if such a problem occur will take care of that.

Enriching emotional experiences

Many children will learn compassion and sympathy by having a dog at their side. They will be able to use these lessons and carry it over into their day to day actions as they come into contact with other people.

Responsibility

Having a dog in their care will teach your child responsibility.  They will learn how to be a responsible pet owner and this is a valuable lesson they will take with them into adulthood. They will learn that life (and pets) is not just fun and games, but there are other less likeable but necessary tasks that needs to be performed in daily life such as feeding, cleaning and minding.

Unconditional acceptance

Unlike parents, caregivers and teachers, pets do not give orders. They merely want to be cuddled and played with and do not judge no matter what.  Having unconditional acceptance is a very important part of helping anyone with self acceptance and they way they see themselves and feel about themselves and will ultimately influence their adult relationships. Bet you never thought of just how important that little four legged wiggly whirlwind was?!

Reducing anxiety

Dogs are always full of love and always happy to hover around. Their presence at home can help children to have a sense of routine and help them to feel safe. Having a dog around will most certainly reduce separation anxiety for any child that struggles when mom and dad has to leave for a short while.

Positive self image

Having the unconditional love, affection and companionship of a dog that is loyal and loving can make a child feel good about himself.  Your child will feel important and this will ultimately help to develop a positive self image.

Emotional maturity

Children who are emotionally attached to their dog or cat for that matter, will find it much easier to build relationships with other people as they progress in life. This is because they are taught caring, loving and sharing without limits or boundaries.  There are no expectations or restrictions and comes with no price tag or conditions.

Reduce stress

Both children and adults benefit from cuddling, stroking and playing with dogs. Spending time with your dog offers a source of calm, relaxation and immense joy. It not only offers the benefit of reduced stress but it also stimulates a child’s imagination and curiosity.

Perseverance

Your child will learn the importance of persistence when they are big enough to try and train and execute a new trick to their dog.  Achieving this has the added benefit of a positive self image through an outstanding accomplishment when it has been achieved.

Autism and learning difficulties

Studies have shown that dogs can have a calming influence on overactive or aggressive children helping them to stay in control and acting as an antidote to their anxiety and frustrations.

As some autistic children communicate much better with non-verbal signs just as dogs do, and therefore they are sometimes better off interacting with pets than with humans. This will bring their anxiety levels down and give them great comfort.

Children with learning difficulties will benefit from learning how to regulate anxiety and calm themselves when they can regularly interact with a pet. It will also help them stay more alert throughout the day and can help them focus

If your family falls in this category and you need a pet for special needs, please make sure that you get proper training for both your child and your dog.  It is immoral and very sad to use a dog to take the brunt of any child’s anger and we would strongly suggest that you supervise under all circumstances. Our pets deserve our love and care, even when they are used for assistance.

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