Choosing to bring a new member into your family is a big decision, even if that member has four legs and sleeps on the floor.
While getting a dog brings new responsibilities, these are almost always outweighed by the countless benefits, happiness being at the top of the list.
And, you’ll be happy to hear, dogs are not only great for parents, but for children too.
If you are on the fence about getting a dog, here are 7 reasons to give you the push you’re looking for.
A dog can help you get exercise
It’s easy to banish thoughts of an evening stroll to the back of the mind, but when you have actual puppy dog eyes staring up at you, it becomes very hard to say no.
Having a dog will not only force you to stay active, but will keep your kids on their feet too. Bringing the dog for a walk, playing with him in the home, or throwing a ball in the garden are all positive ways of turning would-be screen time into active play time.
Dogs lower stress
Having a dog is linked to lower stress levels. Research by KennelStore suggests that our blood pressure drops when we pet and play with dogs. Lowering blood pressure not only reduces stress, but can also prevent strokes and heart attacks.
They help with mental health
According to KennelStore, pet dogs can help alleviate myriad symptoms of mental health issues:
- The responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog can help alleviate the sense of worthlessness that often accompanies depression.
- Dogs can help people with ADHD expend excess energy that could otherwise turn into anxiety and stress.
- Dogs can help people with autism as “they don’t feel the same pressure to answer questions or start conversations that they might with another person.”
A dog can lead to a better social life
If you can’t resist cooing at every adorable dog you pass, then you can already guess how having a dog will improve your social life. Dog-owners are constantly being stopped by admirers of their furry friends and while your dog may initially be (and likely remain) the star of the show, there is always a chance that one of the many conversations you strike up will lead to a real friendship.
Going for walks or to dog parks is also a great way to promote sociability among your kids.
If you worry about days that you might be too busy to take your dog out for a walk, you can always call in a dog walker to take him off your hands for a few hours.
They teach your kids responsibility
Taking care of someone other than themselves is one of the best ways for children to learn how to be responsible. The bond between children and their dogs is unquestionable. The unconditional love that children feel towards their dog inspires them to take care of them. Your kids can help you brush your dog, feed him, fill his water bowl and take him for walks.
Learning how it feels to have their dog depend on them will be a great way to teach your children the importance of responsibility.
They can prevent allergies
Research has suggested that babies who live in a household with a dog are more likely to be healthy during their first year then babies who don’t. There have also been links between having a dog in the house and the prevention of allergies and asthma. However, it is important to ensure that your children don’t have any serious dog allergies before getting one.
Dogs are great for home safety
Dogs are great home protectors. Even if you choose a small dog, the sound of their bark may act as a deterrent to potential intruders.
Dogs are instinctively protective and generally have great relationships with children. It is typical for dogs to act as guardians over the children in their household.