10 Reasons Your Child Should Grow Up with a Dog

Child sitting with small dog

Research demonstrates that pets improve your health by reducing anxiety symptoms and lowering blood pressure. Growing up with a dog is beneficial for everyone, but especially for your child.

Pets can promote the child's independence, strengthen his self-esteem and teach him to take responsibility. Dogs are good for all people, regardless of age. They are faithful companions, steadfast guardians and soothing bed warmers.

Here are 10 reasons why your child should grow up with a dog:

  1. A dog can teach your child about the cycle of life: Watching a puppy grow up, including its changing behavior and personality, its changing needs, likes and dislikes, can be an invaluable lesson for your child. When the inevitable time comes and the dog passes away, your child will learn about life and develop skills to deal with life's challenges.
  2. A dog can teach your child responsibility: A dog requires a lot of work. They require constant access to food and water, preventative medical treatment, physical activity, behavioral training, and enormous quantities of care. Your child will have a special opportunity to learn the skills that will eventually make them into a dependable and responsible adult if you teach them to do these chores and then let them take care of the dog.
  3. A dog is always ready to play: Games and play are fundamental to the development of any young mind. It is through play that your child develops his self-concept, builds his self-esteem and learns to use his imagination to the fullest. Dogs are often the most prepared playmate your child can have. Patiently, the dog finds himself in the humiliation of being dressed as a pirate or pulling a wagon full of dolls. The dog will take any chance to play with his child, no matter how silly, boring or inappropriate you or other adults think it is.
  4. A dog can be a shoulder to cry on: Many children have difficulty expressing their feelings to adults. This is especially true when they feel hurt or humiliated by an adult. A dog can be the comforting shoulder, the listening ear or the faithful friend in times of need. If your child does not cry in front of his friends or siblings, it could be that your son or daughter pours out his heart to his dog. Instead of laughing or belittling the child's pain, the dog will simply be there and catch all the tears.
  5. A dog can keep your child active: Dogs are pure bundles of energy. They need to be walked every day, which will get your child off the sofa and into the fresh air and sunshine. Although some dogs are happy with a walk around the neighborhood, others are more demanding. They will play hide and seek, throw a Frisbee or run alongside the bike on a fun bike ride.
  6. A dog can teach your child to learn: Being able to learn from him or teach others is important and is a quality that will benefit your child throughout life. Training a dog requires patience, consistency and creativity – all qualities that will help your child through school and later in his/her social and professional life.
  7. A dog can act as a role model: Children are occasionally reluctant to do things that they do not want to do. When your child is afraid or unsure about doing something, a pet can be a good role model. If your child refuses to eat something new and unfamiliar, giving it to the dog first can often be beneficial. Your child will be more likely to try broccoli if he or she sees the dog devouring it.
  8. A dog can give your child a sense of mastery: All parents want their children to develop a sense of self-assurance. Getting a dog to sit, stay or lie down on command will help your child develop the kind of self-assurance that will give him/her the confidence to overcome life's obstacles.
  9. A dog can teach your child empathy: Dogs are often compassionate toward their scared or hurt owners. Your dog will approach you and lick your face if you become overwhelmed and collapse on the floor sobbing. Children may learn a lot about the world around them by observing it, and they can notice this kind of behavior. Some kids are more adept at interpreting the emotional states of animals than they are at interpreting those of humans.
  10. A dog will be there to love your child no matter what: Whether you've been gone for five minutes or five days, a dog will always be happy to see you walk through the door. A dog can "make it all right" for your child no matter how upset, annoyed, or terrified they are with its sloppy kisses and wagging tail.

It makes no difference if your child grows up with a Chihuahua weighing 1 kg or a Saint Bernard weighing 100 kg. Your youngster will spend the rest of his life enjoying the company of his devoted, affectionate, and humorous canine friend!

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