Many families consider getting a pet dog. A dog may have already been part of the family before children came along, meaning that everyone including your beloved pet needs to adapt to a new family dynamic. Some people worry about the added responsibility of having a dog, or any pet for that matter, as well as having children and busy lives to lead. But I actually feel that a pet dog can teach a child all about responsibility and other things. I wanted to share with you some of the ways I feel it can make a child think a little differently, and perhaps about something else other than themselves.

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They learn to care for something else

 

Let’s be honest, if you are a parent, the chances are you do almost everything for your child. You cater to their needs, feed them, make sure they are hydrated and protected. At some stage, children are going to need to learn to do this or recognise this themselves and a family dog can really help with that. Much like a child a dog needs taking care of, feeding and exercise. Giving a child the responsibility to care for something else could start to help them really take ownership of their own feelings and actions.

 

It can educate and encourage a child

 

It’s always a good idea to encourage different ways to educate children in the home outside of their schooling, and a pet dog can do just that. There are times where a dog can’t communicate how it feels, and it’s up to the owners to decipher if something is wrong. A child can pick up on these signals and then encourage a visit to a veterinary clinic to make sure the pet dog is doing well. It can also educate in the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Things like exercising are just as important to us as it is to dogs and other animals. It can also encourage children to feel confident in their feelings and thoughts.

 

A dog can relieve stress and anxiety in children

 

Children can often feel anxious or stressed and there are studies to show that a pet dog can relieve some of these issues in the home. It may be down to problems at school or with behaviour that your child seems to be struggling with their emotions, but a dog can communicate on different levels than we can and often provide a friend for life. This can also encourage children to gain confidence in social situations and within the home.

 

It becomes a privilege not a chore

 

Finally, what once could have been seen as part of the chores list to walk or feed the dog can suddenly become a privilege to your children as you pet dog becomes more than just the family pet but an actual friend for life. It can often feel like such a big decision to add to your family, or become more adjusted with a family dog when children come along, but it could also be a great addition and lifestyle the whole family can enjoy.

 

I hope that this provides you with some confidence when it comes to family pets and children.

 

 

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