At one point or another, every kid asks the long-anticipated question: “Can we get a dog?”
You might immediately envision all the bills, accidents, and extra work the new pup will require. But deflecting the conversation is no match for the fiftieth, “Pretty please?”
Aside from any initial doubts, there are actually a lot of reasons why kids benefit from exposure to dogs. Whether you’re thinking about adding a puppy to the picture or simply wanting to learn more about your family pet, here are some perks of growing up with a pooch:
Dogs Support Children’s Physical Health
Spending time with a canine makes kids less likely to be, as the expression goes, “sick as a dog.” Pooches are proven to boost immunity throughout childhood. According to data from Honest Paws, exposure to dogs during infancy can prevent colds, ear infections, eczema, and obesity.
Growing up around a pooch also reduces the risk of early-onset asthma and makes the development of pet allergies 33% less likely. In addition to preventing many common illnesses and diseases, some dogs may even be able to smell leukemia on a child and help start life-saving treatment early.
The immunity boost not only improves children’s health but also supports academic performance. Since canines prevent a variety of illnesses, kids with dogs are less likely to miss class. Fewer sick days mean more time for learning. From allergy prevention to the possible early detection of cancer, owning a dog is loaded with children’s health benefits.
Dogs Boost Children’s Moods
The saying goes that a dog is a human’s best friend. That’s why it’s no wonder that being around a four-legged buddy lifts our spirits. Particularly among children, dogs possess a variety of emotional benefits.
Kids with dogs experience a more positive childhood development than their puppy-less peers. Specifically, canines are known to make elementary school-aged children less aggressive and more in touch with their feelings.
Growing up with a dog at home also teaches empathy into the pre-teen years, as children aged 7 through 12 demonstrate more awareness of others’ emotions. For children with psychiatric disorders, dogs are also a proven mood booster. Just one dog therapy session has the ability to elevate their spirits. Throughout childhood, exposure to canines has a positive impact on temperament.
Dogs Aid Children With Disabilities
Dogs have a wide range of mental and physical health benefits for all children. In particular, the benefits of childhood interaction with dogs are even more pronounced for kids with health conditions and developmental disorders.
With a pooch by their side, children with chronic illnesses like type 1 diabetes may have an easier time coping with their condition. Dogs also facilitate playfulness and social interaction among children with autism and other developmental disorders. If a child has an ongoing health condition, being around canines can be a significant help.
Before you turn down yet another plea for a pooch, consider the benefits of adding a dog to the family. It just might make your children feel healthier, happier, and more supported. For those who already have a canine at home, keep enjoying the many perks of your pup!