If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, but you aren’t sure if welcoming a new presence into your home will benefit your children or not. Taking care of a dog can be a lot of responsibility, and while your home will no doubt be brightened by the presence of a four-legged friend, do you really want to take it on now, especially with young children in the house? It’s a serious consideration, but let’s discuss the health benefits of getting a dog for your child.
The Benefits Of Getting A Dog For Your Family
You’ll be happy to hear that, far from being a burden, having a dog in the house can actually provide a myriad of benefits for your young children. There’s a reason why they’re called “man’s best friend,” and owning a puppy and allowing it to grow up with your child can be a fantastic family experience. In addition to helping your family take care of the dog and allowing your children to develop a sense of responsibility, dog ownership has been shown to have a significant impact on kids’ mental health, their emotional development, and even their socialization.
Choosing to invest in a puppy isn’t just an investment in a longtime companion for the family: it’s an investment in your child’s future, in the development of skills and attitudes that will serve them long into adulthood. To find out how puppy ownership can help your children stay happy and healthy, read on: we’ll talk about the many ways that dog ownership has been shown to have a positive psychological impact on childhood development.
A lesson that every parent tries to teach their child at some point is how to be responsible with what they’re given, whether they try and teach them by giving them an allowance in exchange for hard work, giving them chores and deadlines they’re expected to hold to, or having them help take care of the family dog. If children are allowed to help take care of a living being that they love, they will arguably learn the lesson you want them to learn faster than anything else listed above, as they are self-motivated to give their best friend what they need.
Start out small, asking your child to be in charge of filling their water or food bowls once a day or getting them involved in the puppy training process (being the ones to distribute treats, for example). Once they’ve gotten the small things down, you can then trust them with more, eventually leading your child to be your puppy’s primary caregiver. This level of responsibility has been known to help children feel like they’re contributing to the family while teaching them life skills they’ll need later, and is one of the most important benefits of getting a dog for your child.
Increased Physical Fitness
As a general rule, dogs tend to require regular exercise, requiring their owners to go on walks or runs and asking their owners to play in physically strenuous ways, like playing fetch for an hour, tug-of-war, and more. Generally speaking, the more energetic the breed, the better benefit your family will get from it as your daily responsibilities force you outside to exercise. Walking and playing with your dog is one of many great ways to keep your family healthy together, getting some much-needed outdoor time, setting up a regular exercise schedule, and (while playing with the puppy) increasing the bond between dog and owner.
However, you’ll want to get a small dog, as big dogs don’t tend to know their own strength and can cause accidents in their exuberance. Getting a small, energetic breed like a West Highland Terrier (yes, I’m biased), or even a Bernedoodle puppy might be a great place to start, as their high-energy nature will make them more than able to keep up with your kids without posing a risk to them. Moreover, their hypoallergenic nature makes the Bernedoodle fit into any home, even with those typically allergic to dogs.
Developing Emotional Intelligence, Mental Well-Being
Adopting a puppy has also been known to have a variety of effects on your kids’ mental health, from helping them mature emotionally to getting them through stressful days: and with the way things are now, a constant, healthy stress reliever certainly couldn’t hurt. The sense of responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog has been shown to heighten self-esteem, and the improvements in physical fitness also tend to have benefits for kids’ mental health.
Parents should also remember that the dog they’re bringing home will soon be part of their family and deserves the best love and care. That said, they should be able to provide their new furry friend with a safe, clean living environment, easy access to fresh water, the best quality dog food, and regular vet visits to ensure good health.
Parents should also be aware that young and old dogs require different levels of care. Research is key to preparing for the responsibility of having a pet.
Beyond that, though, scientific study has shown that kids with pets tend to be more compassionate towards others, as well as feeling supported by their new best friend, being more open to loving others, and knowing they have a shoulder to lean on in their pet, should they need it. Petting a dog also tends to release dopamine, which can have the same stress-relieving ability for kids that it does for adults. In short, choosing to provide your child with a pet can be one of the best things for their development mentally and emotionally, giving them a rock when times get tough and teaching them compassion for others.
Adopting a dog is an investment in your child’s future, a way to teach them how to respond to the world around them and develop skills that will serve them long into the future. Invest in a family-friendly dog like the Bernedoodle, and watch as your quality of life, and that of your children, skyrockets.