8 Ways Kids Benefit from Having a Dog

1. They have higher self-esteem Children show improvement in self-esteem when given tasks, such as taking care of pets. Authors recommend that tasks be age-appropriate. For example, a 3-year old who is not able to walk a dog should be allowed to put the water bowl down.

2. They’re more compassionate Numerous studies have shown that children who had pets were more compassionate towards others. Endenburg and Baarda wrote that pets can be shared by parents and children, which indicates that children learn early how to take care of a dependent animal.

3. They feel supported Numerous researchers discovered that children are more likely to name their pets when they are asked about who they would take a problem to. The report states that pets can help people feel unconditionally loved and accepted. Humans will often judge and criticize them.

4. They have better cognitive skill Research has shown that children who communicate with their pets by giving commands and praises or simply babbling to them, have better cognitive development. Many schools and animal rescues offer programs that allow children to practice reading to their animals. Both the children and dogs reap the benefits.

5. They have less stress The pet and the owner can both experience a lower level of cortisol by having a dog. Research has also shown that reading aloud to dogs can reduce stress levels in children. 

6. They’re happier Playing with pets can increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are both good for the soul and calm the mind. 

7. They’re healthier Many studies show that children with dogs are more likely to be active and get outside more often, as well as the obvious benefits of having a dog. 

8, They’re more responsible Dog ownership is a big responsibility. Your child should be involved in the care of your dog. Your child and you will have to take your puppy for a walk every other hour for the first few weeks. Children can also be involved in the care of their pet by having them eat together. Your child can help you prepare the dog's meals twice daily.