Anyone can tell you that having a pet provides constant companionship through the ups and downs of life. Whenever kids feel sad or afraid, they can always turn to their pet. They’re cute, cuddly, and ever-loyal. But did you know that growing up with a dog can actually benefit a child’s physical and psychological development? Here are some of the many benefits of your kids growing up alongside a family dog.
Dogs Make Us Happier
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of dogs in early childhood is simply that they make children happy! Interaction and playtime with animals has been proven to raise levels of serotonin and dopamine —even in children — and these are the chemical building blocks of positive feelings. All science aside, playing with and caring for dogs is just plain fun — and it’s bound to brighten any child’s day. Petting and cuddling dogs has also been shown to relieve stress and help people relax.
Dogs Promote Active Living
Of course, caring for a dog also naturally encourages a more active lifestyle. In fact, a recent study showed that kids with dogs exercise eleven minutes a day more than kids who don’t. Many dogs require daily walks or runs and plenty of play time, which means more running, climbing, and jumping for any kid.
Pet Care Teaches Responsibility
Having a pet is a great way to teach the core skill of nurturing and responsibility to kids. Making sure that the family dog has ample food and water gives kids a first glimpse of accountability and obligation. Children also learn important life skills like empathy and compassion by caring for their pet, while at the same time, they develop a higher level of self-esteem by taking care of their pets. Also, as children age alongside their dogs, they will better appreciate increasing needs of aging dogs. A great way to continue nurturing your dog is to help them age comfortably. As dogs age, they begin to experience a number of skeletal degenerative issues. Common problems that can affect older or larger dogs include:
- Hip dysplasia,
- Issues running or walking,
- Difficulty climbing stairs, and
- Complications due to arthritis
Major ways to ease the symptoms of orthopedic degeneration include vitamins, dieting and sometimes surgery, but often times the easiest way to mitigate skeletal issues is to buy a special orthopedic bed. When searching for dog beds, go with a company that cherishes your lovable companion as much as you do. A retailer like Mammoth Outlet, who has been selling vet-recommended dog supplies and orthopedic beds since 1995, can help you find a breed-specific bed that comes vet-recommended. Show your kids the value of pet care by spending the right amount of time finding a comfortable bed for your pet.
Dogs Help Kids Communicate
Finally, animals can help socialize children and increase verbal skill building. You’ve likely seen even the youngest children who are still learning to talk attempting to yap away with pets. In this way, pets give not only social and emotional support but also help promote Cognitive language skills. A pet’s simple presence provides verbal stimulus to help your child practice talking and socializing with another being.
Anyone who has a pet will tell you that their pet is like a part of the family. Family pets help build family bonds because it shows the value of caring, nurturing, and communication. Interaction between kids and dogs help to grow family bonds and help keep grow your family closer.