Dogs can be an amazing addition to any family. But are dogs good for kids?
Dogs are not only fun playmates for every family member, but they also have the ability to bring a smile to your face even when life feels pretty bleak. Bringing a dog into the family, while exciting and fun, is a big commitment. It’s important to fully grasp the responsibility of pet ownership and to understand what comes along with it. It’s also great to appreciate all the benefits too.
Dive in as we divulge the numerous benefits that a dog brings to your children, and advise on the dos and don’ts of getting a family dog.
What are the benefits for your children?
Dogs are said to be man’s best friend, and that goes for kids too. The benefits of having a dog are many.
- Getting a dog for your kids teaches them some responsibility in the form of looking after someone other than themselves. This responsibility also fosters generosity, a more caring approach, and cooperation with the rest of the family.
- Owning a dog also boosts self-esteem in kids by allowing them the responsibility of caring for the pet.
- Studies have shown that children who grow up in a household with pets are less prone to allergies. They appear to be less likely to acquire allergies or respiratory infections since they are more exposed to bacteria and dust components, which helps them to build a stronger immune-system.
- The bond shared between children and pets creates happiness and joy.
What is a good age for a kid to get a dog?
Parents of toddlers may wonder if it is safe to have a pet dog at home due to the safety of their child. With proper care and training, a dog can enrich the quality of life of your child in many ways.
It is said that kids above five years of age can be ready to welcome a dog home, however, below that age they may not be capable of responsible pet ownership and behaviour. Thus, it is necessary to carefully consider whether your children are ready to have the responsibility of having a pet in the house.
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What is a good size dog for your family?
“If you are planning to get a cute little puppy to accompany your toddler, then it might be better to get a big dog rather than a small one. Small dogs often feel anxious and nervous about getting hurt or injured and if your child is quite playful, there’s a chance that it may accidentally nip or bite”, mentions an expert at Whiskers N Paws, the Hong Kong pet shop. Bigger dogs have a more even temperament and are also more stable compared to smaller dogs, so they may be better companions for your kids.
How do I introduce my dog to my child?
Introducing your kids to a new pet and getting them used to each other is an important step when you first bring home your dog. How you introduce them initially may save an unfriendly encounter later.
Here are a few tips for introducing your kids to your new four-legged pals:
- First, teach your child to be gentle. Kids may sometimes accidentally squeeze or pull too hard on the dog. This unintentional act may result in pets behaving aggressively or running after your kids to hurt or bite them back.
- Make sure your child is calm for the introduction. Let the dog greet your kids once they are ready. This may help develop a strong bond from the beginning.
- Let the dog sniff your child and be settled before you allow your kids to pet them.
- Help children slowly get closer to the dog. Do not let kids stick their fingers into the dog’s face.
- Do not make any loud sounds and do not allow your kids to hug the dog at the first instant. Such a move can sometimes frighten a dog, forcing them to behave defensively, and sometimes they may nip or bite.
- Also, it’s helpful to train the dog to some commands and leash them before you introduce your kids.
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How to socialize your dog with kids?
Kids and dogs can develop a great bond of friendship over time. Let things proceed in a series rather than merely rushing the introduction. Socialization may demand some patience, but it is worth all the efforts to build long term relations. Checking in with the mood of your dog to determine whether they are over excited or anxious is a good first step ahead of playing with kids.
Adding a pet to the family comes with great benefits and rewards. The presence of a dog can benefit your children to have a happier and healthier childhood.