Your dog is good for your kid for more reasons than you can think. Let’s see how.
Ever seen the twinkle in your child’s eyes when he sees a pup or a dog he likes? He wants to go close to him
pet him and more often than not, would like to take him home. A pooch will give him a wealth of knowledge for day-to-day life.
We all know dog teaches our children emotions like compassion, responsibility and community awareness towards strays, besides giving them emotional support in times of need. They help children in more ways than we think.
Let’s see how our pooches help our kids have a more enriching life…
The tiny tots (0-2 years): Babies learn through senses – by seeing, hearing and touching. Their cognitive development improves when they are living with a pooch. They associate with them as friends and love to play with them, looking for them when they sit under the table or bed. Their motor skills improve as the pooches keep them on their toes.
The preschoolers (2-3 years): This is the age of learning – kids learn that they are responsible for their pet’s needs and start empathising with them.
The school-goers (3-14 years): When a child starts going to school, he faces the real world – classmates, teachers, etc. Sometimes, they are not able to tell everything to their parents – they start confiding in their pets as they are aware of their unconditional love and care. They become responsible towards their pets – taking care of their daily needs. Sometimes, even the loss of a pet can teach them the hard facts of life.
Few scientific facts…
Even science has proved that pooches enrich children’s lives. Let’s see how:
Dogs encourage reading habits in children: A lot of children are not comfortable reading aloud. By having a canine as an audience, children learn to read. They know that dogs will not judge them for their reading skills and they feel they are teaching it to the pooch, thus building their confidence in the long run. This concept was first used by a nurse named Martin, who is now a board member of Utah’s nonprofit Intermountain Therapy Animals, which runs the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) programme.
Dogs make children active and hence less obese: According to a research from St. Geroge’s University of London, children who have dogs at home are more active than those without dogs, thus helping them fight obesity, a rising issue of concern for parents.
Dogs help children with special needs: According to a new Université de Montreal study, specifically trained service dogs can help reduce anxiety and enhance socialisation skills of children suffering with Autism Syndrome Disorders (ASDs).
Health benefits: The researchers in Stanford University and the University of California, United States have found that pets can significantly reduce the risk of cancer, improve cardiovascular function, and enhance human immunity.
Towards safe dog-child interactions…
But it is important to teach children how to interact with dogs to prevent mishaps like dog bites, etc. Always have kids and dogs in supervision. Don’t let your child reach for an unknown dog. Teach them not to bother them while they are eating or sleeping. Never let your child bully them – teach them where your dog likes to be touched and when he needs to be left alone. Also, teach them the basic body language of a dog.
Teaching kids the importance of Hygiene and washing hands is a must. Most importantly, teach your child to respect the family pooch.
Let’s help our kids have a more fulfilling life with the love of a pooch!