OWNING A DOG PRODUCES HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, MORE WELL-ADJUSTED CHILDREN.
REASON NUMBER THREE: Regular dog-walking increases social interaction for children–especially those who have just moved to a neighborhood and are feeling homesick for their former home.
A child who might not want to go out into the neighborhood alone, feels that he or she has a purpose in walking the dog, and therefore can face unfamiliar faces or places more easily than when alone. Doing activities with a dog such as playing frisbee in the yard, or jogging, or merely walking your pooch on a leash is a great way to “break the ice” with new neighbors or other kids on the block. It’s also a good conversation starter like: “Where’s the nearest park?” “Do you know what the Leash Laws are?” “Do you have a dog?” A study by Britain’s Warwick University found that 49% of people reported making friends much easier as a result of owning a dog. Walking the dog could be the perfect way for a shy or awkward adolescent to meet new friends in the neighborhood.
REASON NUMBER FOUR:. Dogs decrease loneliness in children.
When the older child (children) go off to school, often younger siblings experience loneliness and are sad from missing the older child. A family dog can serve as a companion and friend. A playful dog provides security that one is not alone, especially when Mommy is busy and cannot spend time reassuring the child. Children who come home to an empty house and have to wait for parents or other siblings to return have someone with whom to share their time. If they’ve had a bad day, they know they can tell any secret to their canine friend. By having someone to talk to and play with, your child feels much more secure and less anxious about being alone.
Be sure to read the remaining Ten Reasons To Own A Dog.