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Positive effects of growing up with a dog

January 2023 | Highpaw stories

There is almost no child who, at some point during their childhood, didn't want or ask for a dog as a pet. Although some succeed in persuading their parents to get them a dog, there are many whose mothers and fathers didn't grant their wish under the pretext that a dog is a big commitment, a large financial expense, requires a lot of sacrifices, changes in lifestyle, and the like.

Of course, all of the above is true to some extent. But when you take into account the benefits and advantages that growing up with a dog brings for children, and the life lessons that every child learns growing up with a dog, perhaps adults should think again about welcoming a new family member into their home that will definitely change their lives, but for the better. Coexistence with a dog as a pet will undoubtedly teach children a lot of valuable and important life lessons.


Growing up with a dog

Anyone who has a dog knows and can confirm how much joy a four-legged pet can bring. In addition to brightening everyday life and putting a smile on your face no matter what, dogs take care of their owners in a unique way, show understanding, and give unconditional love. Caring for an animal makes a person happy, creates a sense of responsibility, and develops a whole new level of trust and friendship. These are just some of the reasons why it is good and healthy for children to grow up with dogs. Dogs show special affection, especially with children, and will certainly enrich the upbringing of the youngest members of the family.



Becoming responsible

A pet in the house is a responsibility, and this is also the first lesson a child will learn with having a dog. A dog is not a toy, it is a living creature that requires care, attention, and time. Although adults will assume most of the dog-related responsibilities in the beginning, over time the child may begin to take over some of those responsibilities and duties, depending on their age. So, the child can learn how to feed the dog, clean up behind it, and walk it after school. In addition to having fun, children will develop feelings of empathy and responsibility towards other living creatures and have better emotional intelligence. Nowadays, people do not communicate well with each other, so it is important to show children by example what loyalty means and how to treat others around you. At the same time, while taking care of someone else, children learn how to take care of themselves.


Hanging out with a true friend

Sometimes childhood is not easy and children often feel alone in their thoughts. In such situations, a dog can always improve the child’s mood and provide constant companionship during good, but also during difficult periods of the child's life. It is not unusual for a dog to become a figure symbolizing safety for a child, even in the face of difficult life challenges. Whenever children feel sad, angry or scared, they can always turn to their pet. Furthermore, when children withdraw into themselves and find it difficult to express their emotions, it may be easier for them to share their feelings with a pet. It is therefore not surprising that caring for and petting a dog has been shown to relieve stress and help with relaxation. Growing up with a dog will, among other things, affect the development of a child's character.


Active lifestyle

Another good lesson that any child will learn from growing up with a dog is to lead an active life. Walking and playing with a dog outdoors is exercising, which is extremely important for children's development, but has been disregarded by many and replaced by computers and cellphone games in our digital age. With a dog, no additional motivation will be needed for the child to get moving and go for a walk or run in the meadow with their best friend. In addition, this will teach the child that some things, such as walking the dog even in bad weather, has to be done even when you don’t want to do it. Furthermore, the child will also develop the love for nature.


Game and communication skills

Playing with dogs is a great hobby and activity! Throwing a ball or a frisbee, playing tag or any other game is sure to be fun for both the child and the dog, because both simply love to play. Games stretch children's imagination, encourage creativity, and develop communication skills. By witnessing just how much their four-legged friend enjoys running after a ball, the child will understand how important it is to stay playful. This is also an opportunity to learn how to communicate with other children while walking or playing with the dog, but also later in life.



Good hygiene keeps you healthy

Sometimes it can be difficult to teach children to wash their hands before every meal, but if they have a furry friend attending their first lessons, learning about personal hygiene, the dog’s hygiene, and hygiene in the home can be more fun than usual. Washing hands after playing with the dog, wiping and washing the dog's paws after returning from a walk, vacuuming dog hair, washing food and water bowls... These are just some of the lessons to be learned over time. All of this will contribute to strengthening the child's immunity, because exposure to pets and their microbes improves children's immune system. Moreover, it even reduces the risk of developing allergies, asthma and eczema on the skin.


Strengthening self-confidence

By growing up with a pet, children acquire skills and learn lessons necessary for an independent life. Every parent wants to do their best at raising their young ones, and a dog can be of great assistance. Taking care of and growing up with a dog will give the child a sense of pride and importance. Every praise a child receives for taking good care of their pet will fill them with self-confidence, and encourage them do more, ultimately resulting in confidence in all future endeavors growing up.