Why Dogs are Great for Your Kids!

March 31st, 2022 by Marlene Ring

dog with boyHaving Dogs around children is beneficial in so many ways

Building stronger family bonds, raising healthier babies, teaching children to take responsibility, increasing social skills and having a better understanding  of care giving are just a few examples.

I have been to several homes where the children as well as the parents are learning about training their dogs.  Many children are responsible, dedicated and ready to learn.

girl in hospital therapy dog

It has been known for a while that bringing therapy animals (especially dogs) into certain facilities, such as schools and hospitals, can be extremely helpful.

Developmentally challenged kids learn more quickly and those in hospitals tend to recover faster when a therapy dog is utilized.

girl reading to dogStudies have found that when children are asked to read in front of an animal, they have much lower stress levels than when asked to read to a peer or an adult. Not being judged by their furry friends seems to help them achieve more. Many libraries have reading programs like this. You can check the Boerne Library here   http://www.ci.boerne.tx.us/209/Children

kids dogs friendsHaving a pet can make it easier for children to be more sociable. It gives the child something to talk about and a shared interest with other kids. I have seen otherwise tongue tied children chatter animatedly about the amazing abilities of their canine buddy.

Dog are often a great source of comfort. When a group of 5 year old pet owners were asked what they did when they felt sad, angry, afraid, or had a secret to share, more than 40 percent said they turn to their pets.

Little girl is blowing her noseAccording to a study by Dennis Ownby, MD, a pediatrician and head of the allergy and immunology department of the Medical College of Georgia, having pets actually decreases a child’s risk of developing certain allergies.

girl brushing dog 2When children are given a chance to be caregivers, many will live up to the challenge. It can be exciting for them to take part in the care of their animals, from feeding, to walking, brushing, training, petting and playing. With all the benefits that a child can get from having a relationship with a dog, it is no wonder why so many kids are inclined to interact with dogs.

baby with dogAll of these activities can be quite fulfilling but it is also important to keep in mind that some children might be a bit too young to take part in all of them. While some dogs can easily handle any sized humans, some may be fearful of toddlers as their body language is very hard for a dog to read. It is important to keep in mind that both the children and pups need a bit of structure for this union to go smoothly.

Here are a few thing to tell the kids in your life about dogs. And as always, if you have any questions give me a call!

Be gentle Never hug, slap, pull, squash, ride or poke any dog
Use a normal calm voice Don’t scream around any dog
Pet the dog’s body Don’t pet the head or feet
Approach dogs from the side Avoid approaching the dog’s face
Respect your dog’s space Never put your face in the dog’s head or blow in their face
Feed the dog at a routine meal time Don’t bother or touch a dog while eating
Offer treats when supervised by an adult Don’t take treats away
Only give toys when supervised by an adult Don’t take toys away or tease the dog with them
Let sleeping dogs lie Don’t wake up a dog that is resting
Play games that your dog likes Don’t force your dog to play if they don’t want to
Take your dog on a walk with an adult present Resist  walking a dog that is too strong for you.
Teach your dog to sit for petting and feeding Don’t let your dog jump on you or your friends
Brush your dog regularly Don’t give a haircut or style your dog

Start building a better communication and relationship with your dog!