5 Solid Reasons Why Owning A Dog Is Good For Children
I remember it like it was yesterday. The day I heard I was getting my first dog.
It was 2008, and I had just entered 2nd grade. Both of my parents had owned dogs before, and they decided it was time to get one for our family.
After a few months of research, my mother decided that we would buy a rough collie. Known for being a great family dog and very active, the breed would be perfect for an energetic young boy.
When the moment finally came to pick him up from the breeder, I had never been more excited. Again, I had never had a puppy before. So we shared many firsts and great memories together.
Over 11 years later, Jinx has been there for me through everything and is one of my best friends.
So today, we are going to examine five surprising benefits that children experience when owning a dog.
1. Dogs teach responsibility.
When Jinx came home for the first time, there was a new layer of responsibility that I never had before. It was fundamentally different from chores like cleaning my room or taking the trash out.
Don’t get me wrong, those chores are essential, but a dog is a living thing.
When I forgot to feed him at the right time, my parents would remind me that he couldn’t get food whenever he wanted to like I could. Taking care of him was very important in the development of how I viewed responsibility.
2. Dogs keep children active when they otherwise might not have a reason to.
One of the biggest problems many children face is having a reason to go outside.
With YouTube, video games, and Netflix, why go outside when you have the world at your fingertips?
Dogs change that. A fundamental way to keep your dog healthy is by exercising daily. It gives kids a reason to go outside and explore the world.
Besides daily walks or playing in the park, dogs make great adventure buddies, too! Are you going to the cabin for the weekend? Man’s best friend would love to join you.
One of my favorite memories with Jinx was taking him to the park during baseball games. It was a great way to interact with other kids and stay active!
3. They provide companionship.
Whenever I had a bad day at school, I knew I could rely on my dog to be there for me. He was always excited to see me (sometimes too excited).
According to a University of Missouri study, dogs can help children with autism develop stronger social skills. Dogs also work as great ice breakers. Whenever we went for walks, people would want to stop and pet Jinx.
Naturally, a conversation followed, and it was easier to talk to them. It was especially useful for meeting kids my age.
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4. Dogs provide security for their families.
I can recall vividly the night we had someone at the door of our house. I grew up in a very safe neighborhood, so when Jinx starting barking at 2:00 a.m., we knew something was wrong.
After my father went to investigate, the situation ended with nothing bad happening.
Although it’s great that nothing bad happened and the man went away without an incident, it taught me something that I will always remember, which is having a dog gives you an advantage when it comes to deterring crime.
In an article published by The Guardian, it states that burglars who were interviewed said barking dogs were their number one deterrent.
Having that alarm system gives you more time to react and a better chance to avoid having anything wrong happen.
5. Children who have a dog are less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental illness.
During my first semester at college, I remember what finals were like. The difference between the weekend before finals and the average weekend was like night and day. People were stressed and in a bad mood.
Some friends and I decided to take a break from a long day of studying. What did we do? We went to a room that had therapy dogs and petted them for an hour.
What happened was really amazing.
We all felt as though a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. Everyone was a lot less stressed, and our moods improved dramatically. That night we all slept much better, too!
According to newportacademy.com, there are many mental health benefits that dogs provide. These include having better self-esteem, less lonely, being more extroverted, and less fearful.
So, to summarize, there are many benefits that dogs provide children. Once you find the perfect breed and name, you are ready to see the advantages and start creating years of amazing memories!