The benefits of growing up with a dog
It's true: children who grow up with pets may have an edge on children with no pets. Read this article to find out how pets enhance the lives and health of children.
The relationship between children and their pets is special and comforting, and brings with it many benefits for the child's development. Studies have shown that children with pets have higher self-esteem, improved social skills, and are more popular with their peers. They learn nurturing skills, as well as showing improved empathy and a more caring attitude. There is evidence that pet ownership may help develop non-verbal communication.
Pets and family harmony
Pet ownership also has a beneficial effect on family harmony. Research shows families spend a lot more time interacting after the acquisition of a pet. Pets provide a focus for fun activities and friendly conversation. The relaxation and relief from stress provided by animal companionship also yields measurable health benefits for parents. Pet owners have a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, fewer minor illnesses and complaints, and visit the doctor less often than their ‘petless’ counterparts.
Owning a dog can be a delightful family experience. Children learn to interact with and take responsibility for the health and well-being of the dog. However, while the ownership of a dog may have enormous benefits for the child, parents need to teach children how to behave around dogs so they can have a safe and enjoyable relationship.
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