Kids and dogs are like peanut butter and jelly…right?
As your child grows older and begins to explore the world around them, they may become intrigued by animals. Some children might enthusiastically approach a dog they encounter while playing outside, hoping to pet it. Others may feel scared and hide behind their parents, but still peek out curiously at the dog.
After seeing how your kid reacted to a recent dog encounter, you may be wondering if you should get them one. Will a pet dog be good for your child? Which dog is right for them? How should you guide the relationship between your child and their dog?
Read on as we provide answers to those important questions!
Children Can Understand the Concept of Responsibility Thanks to Pets
Parents are obligated to care for their children, and it’s a responsibility many people happily embrace. Of course, you cannot do everything for your child forever. At some point, you will have to give them some responsibilities so they can learn to be independent. Giving them a pet can be a great way to introduce them to the concept of responsibility.
It’s important to ensure that you assign tasks that are suitable for your child’s age and level of responsibility. According to Pet Assure, young children should only take on responsibilities that they can perform without putting themselves at risk. The site mentions replacing water in the dog bowl as a pet care job that a young child can handle.
When your child is a bit older, you can teach them to give the dog food and water. That way they can learn to measure out the appropriate amount of food. At about 10 years of age children can start cleaning up after their pets and help with dog training.
Gradually increasing your child’s responsibilities also benefits their development. They’ll have an easier time grasping what responsibility is (and the benefits of it) because they regularly spend time caring for their dog.
Taking care of pets is a great way to encourage a child to stay active and healthy!
We all want kids to develop healthy habits from an early age. Most kids enjoy running around and playing outside while they’re still toddlers, but their interest in that may wane as they learn about other hobbies.
Encourage your kids to stay active by making exercise fun and enjoyable for them. Respect their individual preferences and interests to instill healthy habits that will benefit them long-term. You can instill that love for activity in your child by giving them a pet.
Children are more likely to enjoy playing outside if they have a pet dog. Playing in the backyard can be good exercise for your child and their pet. Teenagers can also stay active by taking the family dog for daily walks.
Children Can Develop Stronger Immune Systems by Being Around Dogs
Aside from helping your child stay in shape, a pet dog can also strengthen their immune system. Per this article from Michigan State University, kids who share homes with dogs experience fewer ear and respiratory tract infections. Early exposure to pets could also help your child develop stronger resistance to allergens.
A Child Can Feel More Confident with the Help of Their Pets
Pet ownership can also benefit your child because it can boosts their confidence. Children feel better about themselves when they are trusted with tasks that they can accomplish. The fact that they are taking an active role in pet care is a big deal for them.
Kids may also feel comfortable talking to other people about their pets. Their pet can be an icebreaker that helps them make more friends.
Have more questions about determining if your child is ready to own a dog? Send your question through our contact page for our dog trainer Cathy to answer.