If you have kids, you may notice that you have been asking for a dog. Having a dog is the best family pet for everyone. They are loyal, friendly and can bring a lot of additional benefits to your family. Dogs are great in many respects such as improving physical and mental health, they can be great companions and can teach kids a lot! 

Dog ownership can teach children about responsibility, help them process their feelings and improve their health. It will teach them about how to care for other living creatures, as well as giving them the chance to be responsible at a young age which can help their development and even their schoolwork. Children who grow up with a dog are less likely to develop allergies also which is a bonus if they want to have dogs themselves when they are older. It will be a great way for your kid to feel more active and bring them a friendship that can last a lifetime. Different dogs have different benefits for kids, but a good family dog, such as a retriever or labrador mix, can be the best choices that will be both mild mannered as well as protective and don’t take too much looking after, which is important in the long run. With a Labrador Retriever, you can be sure that you have the right dog that will bring out the very best in your kids. Often children with disabilities will find it easier to communicate with a dog than people, which may help them come out of their shell a little, a big bonus for everyone. Kids with autism tend to respond very well to dogs and can really bring them a new lease of life.

How Can They Help My Kids?

Here is a list compiled of all the reasons and ways that dogs can really be beneficial to your kids. You may already have a pet now, such as a hamster or guinea pig, but the dog will be the next step. These are just some of the benefits: 

  1. Dogs teach children responsibility: You may set your kids some chores, such as having to remember to feed them, provide water, and clean up after the dog. This will instil a sense of responsibility into them and also can give them huge  satisfaction that they can’t get from school. The relationship that develops can be great for a child and they may want to help teach their dogs tricks and form a special bond that can help them greatly. 
  2. Dogs teach children patience: Dogs aren’t known for being perfectly behaved all the time! They chew, slobber, scratch and can make the house a tip! So this will allow your child to learn the ability of patience, as well as helping tidy up after them. They may also want to help train their dog to walk on a leash, which will help them develop more patience and compassion. 
  3. Dogs teach children compassion:  Just like humans, dogs feel emotion and pain and even get depression of some type. Children will witness a dog’s entire life cycle and when they die it can really affect them which is something that you should warn them of and speak to them about just in case something unexpected happens.  Seeing a dog in pain can be difficult but it can help your child with learning to look after them, comfort them and appreciating pain and suffering also. 
  4. Dogs help kids become more social:  Dogs are very social animals who enjoy and crave attention and affection and your kids will offer them this.  When your child interacts with a dog, it will help them with communicating with other children too as well as striking up a conversation with other kids about their dogs. Being out and about in the park can be good and may help relieve the stress and anxiety that kids may have relating to social issues. A dog could provide some relief. 
  5. Dogs are fun:  Dogs will make your child happy and give them a purpose on weekends and after school to spend time with the dog and form a lifelong bond. There are breeds to fit every type of personality but most dogs will happily play fetch, tug-of-war, or just be there when you are doing homework or reading. They will be pleased to see you too and this will be vital for kids if they are feeling alone or children who are only children.
  6. They’ll protect your kids – Dogs are often very protective and even when your children are little babies, dogs will have an instinct to protect. They may sit and watch over the child, or be sure to check on them and be around them, they love to be with kids, especially female dogs. They will also keep that instinct as they get older, many dogs have been known to protect kids on the road, against intruders and more. 

Are Dogs Easy To Look After?

Some are and some aren’t but it depends on how they are raised and the rules they know. You can’t expect your child to look after the dog fully, you will need to step in and look after some areas of dog management. You can assign your kids chores to help out with the dogs but they will take some looking after, including: 

  1. Gather supplies – this may mean going out often to buy the supplies needed or ordering them in. 
  2. Establish house rules – your dog will need to be trained in many areas to ensure they do not mess the house up or cause damage. 
  3. Plan the arrival – know when the dog is coming home and have a designated space or room for your dog. 
  4. Prepare for housetraining – you will need to prepare your home and safeguard which should be done beforehand. 
  5. Ensure all pets are healthy – this means enough exercise, good food and regular check ups and trips to the vet. You will need to make sure they have the right shots and are generally in good health.
  6. Give them a dog crate – this is a place that they can be kept safe or transported if necessary. Do not use this as a long term punishment however, as you may find your dog will rebel and not use the crate if it is overused. 
  7. Use training and discipline to create a happy home – your kids can get involved with this one and help train them as well as giving them all the tricks and tips that they need in order to be happy and healthy. 

Overall having a dog can prove very beneficial but you should also weigh up the pros and cons in terms of finance. If you are struggling already with money, then a dog will only add extra burden and you do not want your dog to suffer for this. However, if you can budget well and manage your life well, then a dog is going to be a huge benefit to any child. Especially if they have been asking for one. Some children don’t necessarily connect to dogs or any animal and may have other interests but if your child enjoys animals then you know it will be a worthwhile investment as they have a passion for it and will probably be keen to help out with the dog and take some of the pressures of you. Be sure to keep the house safe, with the necessary safeguarding measures and you will soon be on a new exciting journey!