There is no doubt that dogs bring their owners (both young and old) a great deal of happiness, even if it is simply petting around the house or taking walks through the park.
However, there are numerous advantages to owning a dog that goes well beyond the fact that they are cuddly and entertaining.
To answer the question of whether now is a good time to add a four-legged member to your family, here are some reasons why having a pet dog may be a very good decision:
1. Dogs can teach your children valuable lessons about life.
Even your youngest child could benefit from having a dog in the house when it comes to understanding their responsibilities.
Despite the fact that you’ll be responsible for a large portion of the pet-care responsibilities, your child is likely to learn a great deal about positive values such as kindness and gentleness.
His assistance is even needed in simple tasks such as putting food on a plate or transporting light objects from one location to another.
Your child will learn valuable lessons about sympathy and compassion by simply helping out.
He will realize that dogs, like human beings, will require food to eat, a home to live in, regular exercise, love, and affection, teaching him important lessons about sympathy and compassion.
2. Dogs can help you feel more confident in yourself.
There have been studies that show that children who have dogs as pets are more likely than those who do not to have high self-esteem.
Due to the fact that they have a four-legged companion who adores them unconditionally, a friend to confide in when you are down and alone, and a classmate to play with all day, they are successful.
Furthermore, as your child begins to attend school, your dog has the potential to significantly improve his or her performance.
Other studies have demonstrated that reading to a nonjudgmental audience, such as a dog, can help a shy reader become a more confident communicator.
What more could you possibly ask for?
3. Dogs can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
The early exposure to certain microorganisms, according to canine experts, makes it less likely that young children who grew up with dogs develop allergies later in life than other children. (Of course, not all children are alike, and your child may be allergic to something, so make sure to check first.)
Several studies have found that pet owners are more likely than non-pet owners to be healthier in their early years.
For example, a 2012 study discovered that children who have pets are typically healthier in their early years, having fewer asthmatic complications as well as fewer ear infections than children who do not have pets.
Is there yet another advantage to dogs?
Petting, patting, or even combing a dog can help you to relax — and this is true not only for children but also for their parents as well.
Child Safety Around Dogs
Every parent wants the best for their child but knowing child safety around dogs can be complicated. If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to your child about how to be safe around dogs.
6 ways to encourage child safety around dogs:
Tip One: Demonstrate the initial hand-off introduction to dogs.
Let your kids know that you mean no command on their part to pet or touch the pet. When you get started, let them hold the leash by your side and ask them to keep still while you introduce the idea of command.
Teaching children that touching the pet is not okay during training will help them understand boundaries and the importance of listening to their parents.
Tip Two: Introduce your kids to bite charts.
You can find bite charts at many public libraries or go online to find a wide selection of bite charts. While a chart is not a substitute for letting your kids know their limits with dogs, it will give them an idea of the responsibility that comes with being around dogs.
Giving your kids a variety of bite charts to choose from will increase your child’s safety around dogs.
Tip Three: Discuss proper body mechanics with your child.
Teach your child safety around dogs by teaching him or her to speak calmly when their dog bites. Stand with one leg in front of the child and put your arm behind his back.
He should be able to see that you are putting your full support behind him and are not giving up your stance to give him attention.
Tip Four: Ask permission before touching the dog.
Some parents allow their children to play with their dogs on a regular basis, while others prohibit such interaction.
You should always ask permission before touching a dog, as well as following through with this request should your child try to pull you away from the dog or to separate you. This fourth child safety around dogs tip can be quite effective if you remember to always ask permission first.
Tip Five: Enroll your young child in a training class.
There are a number of kids clubs, camps, and other programs out there that focus on dog safety for kids of all ages.
These classes will help your young child to understand what happens if they try to play with their dogs and how to properly interact with them.
Tip Six: Consider physical therapy.
A large percentage of dog bites result in scarring or other tissue damage. If your child is experiencing such severe or repeated bites, you may want to consider physical therapy to prevent these problems.
Not only can physical therapy help your child overcome the pain resulting from dog bites, but it will also help to strengthen your child’s bones and muscles so that they can withstand further attacks.
The above six child safety around dogs tips are a good place to start when you decide that your child needs to be protected.
Even if your child is the type of kid that generally enjoys the company of dogs, you should still teach them about the potential dangers. Your pet can bite just about anything, so keeping your kids safe is important.
Remember that it’s your responsibility to teach your kids about these issues. Don’t wait until your child is older.
Today’s kids are not old enough to be fully immune to the danger posed by approaching dogs.
When instructing your kids on the rules of pet ownership, don’t fail to remind them that dogs can attack with a single, strong bite.
Teaching kids to keep eye contact with their pets will help prevent accidental bites.
This simple gesture allows dogs to see a child as just another potential threat and to retract its attack. Dog bites result in bruises, cuts, and ugly scars.
Don’t let this happen to your kids.
You can teach your children to look out for dogs that might be trying to attack them. For instance, look for signs of aggression, such as growling, circling, and jumping.
You can also teach your kids to refrain from approaching dogs that you suspect might be attacking.
You can do this by walking around the backyard with a flashlight and shining it at your pet, especially if there are kids in the area.
You should never approach any dog that is limping or has its front leg outstretched. When walking along with your kids, keep in mind that they are more vulnerable to attack from dogs that have low body weight and are less muscular.
Keep an eye on your kids at all times when petting a dog. You can easily teach your kids not to pet or play with a dog that has its face covered.
Even if the dog is very friendly and playful with your children, you should never pet the dog if its eyes are closed, as it could be trying to alert you to danger.
Petting a dog with its eyes closed is one of the most basic dog safety tips.