I’m pretty sure that most kids have begged their parents for a puppy, at some point or another. If you’re like me, you probably replied with a “no,” or “not til you’re older,” because all you could think about was the added responsibility that comes with adding that extra member to the family.
But did you know that having a dog can actually benefit your kids a lot? Here are some reasons why getting that puppy can be an advantage for your growing kids.
I feel like this might be a little obvious, but it’s still true.
There are certain responsibilities that we can teach our kids, like knowing how to put their clothes in a washing machine, or picking up after themselves, but there’s nothing quite like learning how to take care of a living being. Dogs need walks, bathing, feeding, to be cleaned up after, and most importantly, they need love!
Caring for a living being teaches more than responsibility, it can also help kids become compassionate individuals.
Children have to step outside of themselves, learn to have empathy for others, and practice being selfless. They may have other things that they’d rather be doing, but a dog needing to be fed or walked takes priority.
Caring for the puppy can also help build a child’s self-esteem. Accomplishing tasks like filling the food dish or helping to bathe the dog can help them feel competent and give them a sense of accomplishment.
In today’s world with so many screens, from TVs to tablets, it can seem difficult to convince your children to leave the screens behind and play outside. Adding a four-legged friend to your family might be your answer.
You likely already know this, but kids who have dogs have higher levels of physical activity in their day-to-day lives. Having a dog can mean less of a chance of childhood obesity and the health complications that come from it.
Recent studies have shown that kids that spend their first year of life living with pets have a better immune system than kids that do not. Exposure to dogs likely boosts their immune system during infancy.
Investigators think that exposure to dogs may contribute to a critical step in a child’s developing immune system.