While not every family has a pet, those that do tend to reap several benefits. But why choose a dog? Well, besides the fact that they’re furry, adorable, and considered man’s best friend, here are five reasons that you may want to consider adopting a dog, rather than another animal.
Allergies to Dogs Are Less Common Than Allergies to Cats
Next to dogs, cats are the most frequently owned pets. Unfortunately, allergies to cats are far more common than allergies to dogs. Furthermore, studies suggest that dogs may actually provide children with some protection against allergies and other inflammatory conditions, such as eczema.
Dogs Teach Children Responsibility and Accountability
The way I describe the madness of my parenting style to others is that I’m raising adults, not children. Dogs have helped me do that in more ways than I can count. My children help walk our pups, they help ensure our dogs have food and water. They also take our dogs outside to the bathroom, and they do the clean up after our dogs do their business. In short, having dogs has helped me teach my children about responsibility and accountability.
Dogs Encourage Outdoor Family Activities
Furry family members need their exercise, and what better way to give it to them than as a family? Dogs can go to dog parks and play. They can go to playgrounds and play fetch. They can go on hikes and on camping trips. Some even like to go swimming. And, of course, dogs love to go on walks. So, if you want to get your family outside more often, a dog may be the answer.
Dogs Can Teach Children Kindness and Empathy
Extremely young children – and even older children with developmental disabilities or emotional trauma – often struggle with concepts like kindness and empathy. But dogs are wonderful teachers. Always ready for an afternoon snuggle or just a pat on the head, dogs offer unconditional love, but they must also be protected and treated with love. As a dog owner for years, and after having dogs of all different sizes and breeds, I highly recommend that parents start really young children off with medium- to large-breed dogs that are known for having a good temperament around children (i.e. labs, golden retrievers, mastiffs, etc.).
Dogs Make Wonderful Service and Therapy Animals
If you have a child with special needs or a physical or medical disability, a dog may be just what is needed to help your child thrive. It can also help to ease your mind, as they make exceptional service and therapy animals. They can calm an autistic child who is on the brink of a meltdown. They can be trained to stop seizing children from hitting dangerous objects. They can even encourage bonding in a child that may struggle to connect with anyone else around them.