As you know, we love pets. Our dog, Laila, is very much part of the family, a very important, and much loved member. She brings joy to us all, protects us, and I swear she cares for us as much as we do her.
Numerous studies show that there are many benefits to owning a dog. It is good for everyone in the family, but is particularly beneficial for children.
There is a growing body of evidence to back this statement up. Children with dogs have better self-esteem. They are more empathetic and generally have good social skills. Here is a summary of what some of the studies show:
Better reading skills
In America, they carried out a study aimed at finding ways to help children with reading difficulties. Surprisingly, one of the techniques that worked well was getting kids to read stories to a therapy dog.
Their reading levels improved greatly. Sounds silly I know, but the fact that the dog sat there and listened in a non-judgemental way seems to have given the children confidence and motivated them. The trial was so successful that, in America, listening canines are now being used in the classroom.
Studies in Austria and Australia, into the benefits of classroom dogs, showed that attendance went up. In addition, kids were quieter, more respectful and less disruptive.
This also surprised me, but there is quite a bit of evidence that owning a dog can help your children to stay healthier. For example, a study carried out by the University of California, in 2011, shows that a child in a home with a dog is less likely to develop asthma.
Apparently, the dust in a house without a dog is unlikely to contain a harmless virus called RSV. When babies contract this bug, it helps to reduce their risk of developing asthma.
Many other studies show that dog ownership has health benefits. For example, a Finnish study showed that babies who lived with a dog were 31% more likely to remain healthy, during their first year, than those who lived in a home without a dog.
A joint study carried out by The Society of Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) and the University of Edinburgh shows that pets instill responsibility into young children. Other research shows that having access to animals in their lives improves a child’s language skills. Surprising I know, but just watch your kids with their pets – they chat to them constantly.
Buying a puppy
Once your child is old enough, buying a puppy for them is a great way to teach them about caring for others and taking responsibility. It is great watching kids and puppies grow up together.
If you want a good choice of puppies for sale, Lancashire is an excellent place to start your search. This is because the county has many very good dog breeders doing business within its boundaries.
Of course, buying a puppy is not something you should take lightly. But, if you are sure you can look after a puppy you will be glad that you brought one into your life. Dog ownership brings responsibility, but it brings a long list, a very long list, of benefits. Trust me, I speak from experience.