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  • Writer's pictureJosie

Why Families Should Own Dogs

Did you know that having a family dog can increase your child’s compassion? What about improving their health? Research has shown that having a dog can assist with mental and physical health and enhance social life, and communication skills. While it is important to remember that having a pet is a long commitment your family should be emotionally and financially prepared to handle, let’s break down the benefits.

1. Increasing Physical Health- research suggests that having a pet in the house may increase the immune system from an early age. Children that owned dogs had fewer ear and respiratory infections leading to less usage of antibiotics! Running with the dogs tires you out and is good for the dog! We spend hours at the lake, swimming and playing fetch. Sound fun?! It tires out the entire family while keeping us active. This doesn’t include hikes or our daily walks as a family.

2. Social Skills- Boundary setting is crucial for animals, which can also translate to interactions with humans! We need to give Athena and Chili their space, only provide attention when desired, recognize social discomforts, and use “soft hands” when petting/playing.

3. Life Skills- At a young age, you can teach children to walk, water, and feed the dog. This increases the responsibility to care for another. By watching another animal, they also learn empathy and compassion that can translate into their everyday life. While it is sad to think about it (and we tend to avoid the thought), our pets also pass away. This teaches children how to understand and deal with the complex grief and healing process.

4. Mental Health- Unconditional love! Not to mention the cuddles and slobbery dog kisses. Research has shown that having a dog decreases anxiety and depression, increases social connection, and improves stress management.

Other qualities that have been linked to owning and caring for a dog include increased self-esteem, loyalty, patience, emotional regulation, and companionship. Obviously, we are biased, but who wouldn’t want to own a dog at this point?

Wags away,

The Pawsitive Writer 🐾

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