There are many reasons why dogs are great for kids. Some scientific, some anecdotal, and some just downright cute. Growing up as children with dogs, Riley and I wouldn't have it any other way, but it's not just us. Here are our top 9 reasons why every child should grow up with a dog!
If for no other reason than pure enjoyment, dogs are fun to have around the house, especially for children.
This might be true as an adult as well, but as a kid, sometimes you just want somebody to listen to you. Nobody is a better listener than your dog. As a bonus, dog's make great reading buddies.
Somehow dogs just know when you're hurt. Maybe you have a boo boo, or maybe you didn't do well in art class. Either way, they know not to play rough with you.
Most kids, or at least the ones I knew, didn't want to be outdoors too much. This all changed if it meant going for a ramble with Dolly, our family dog growing up. The same is true or children today. They may not want to go for a family hike, but they'll probably go for a family dog walk. Especially if they get the leash!
There have been numerous studies that show a child who grows up in a dog friendly house is less likely to have asthma and allergies. People with pets also tend to go to the doctor less often.
Compassion, responsibility, boundaries, socialization. All of these are important for kids, and they can all be taught by a dog.
Growing up, the thing that I, like many children wanted was to be treated like an adult. A big part of that is having responsibilities. Maybe it's letting the dogs out at night, cleaning up the backyard or feeding them, regardless of the task, having a dog makes children feel a part of the back, and gives them a job.
I'm sure we would all love to go back and be kids again, but we often forget how stressful it can be to be a kid. Dogs, and pets in general, help to relieve this stress for children.
Siblings don't always get along, but one thing is for sure. Siblings with dogs bond over shared responsibilities and even just as a common playmate.
Did you grow up with a dog?