OWNING A DOG PRODUCES HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, MORE WELL-ADJUSTED CHILDREN.
Having been a counselor for over thirty years, there are several questions that I get asked over and over again. One of those questions is, “What can I do to produce an environment that will assist my child (children) in being well-adjusted human beings?” Of course, there are many answers to this question, but one answer that I always give is that they make sure that the child has a dog.
Now that I’ve retired, I still get many of the same questions. I am a very involved grandparent, and I am happy to report that my grandchildren all have dogs. According to a recent study at St. Louis and Miami Universities, dogs were found to “benefit the lives of their owners, both psychologically and physically, by serving as an important source of social support.” The unconditional love provided by a dog is compared to that of a brother. Those of us who have siblings all remember bickering with them at times, but we also remember that when someone from outside interfered or became threatening, we all stood together in protecting and defending our own. This behavior is further strengthened by having a dog. Dogs are extremely protective of children and tend to make the children feel much braver when out in the neighborhood with their dog than when alone.
The ten reasons that I am giving for children to have a dog are not listed in order of importance. All of us have different characteristics which we find more important than others. Every reason I list, however, is important to the childhood of your son or daughter.
REASON NUMBER ONE: Dogs can help children grow stronger.
Just by being a part of the family, dogs can help contribute to keeping your children healthier. According to Science Daily, kids who grow up with dogs have fewer allergies and are less likely to have eczema than other children. They grow up with higher levels of certain immune system supporters that keep them in better shape as they get older. School systems report that children from homes with dogs also have fewer sick days during the school year. Another benefit in this area of physical strength is that kids who play with dogs can take falling down and rough and tumble play much better.
Be sure to read the remaining Ten Reasons To Own A Dog.