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the Dog Blog

A Helping Paw: 5 Ways Children Benefit from Growing up with a Dog

A dog spending valuable time with a young girl and her family.

Dogs are great family members, but did you know that your dog can have a major impact on your kids? Having a dog in your home can end up benefiting them in ways you may not expect. Here are five potential reasons why canines can be a positive influence on your children.

Dogs Can Help Teach Responsibility

Caring for a dog is a big commitment, but it’s also a great teaching opportunity. Having children be responsible for certain tasks, such as feeding her or giving her a bath, can help them learn about responsibility as they get older.

Dogs May Provide Support During Immune Development

According to some studies, the presence of a dog during a child’s first year of life may help later in life. Research completed at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health finds that “exposure to dogs in infancy – especially around the time of birth – can actually influence children’s immune development and reduce the likelihood of certain allergic diseases.” The reason for this is unsure, but researchers speculate that early exposure to pets is important during the rapid development of a child’s immune system. No matter the reason, it’s a nice potential benefit of having a furever friend at an early age.

Dogs Help Kids Stay Active

Potential immune development isn’t the only benefit for kids with dogs. The presence of a four-legged friend can also help children stay more active. Whether it’s because of playtime in the back yard or a daily walk, dogs can help children – and their parents – stay active while spending quality bonding time together.

Dogs May Offer Psychological Support

Physical health isn’t the only potential benefit for children. A good furry friend can help provide emotional support as well. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who had a dog in their home had a decreased probability of childhood anxiety. In addition, the American Kennel Club reported a collection of scientific studies which argued that dogs have shown to help kids:

  • Have higher self-esteem
  • Be more compassionate
  • Feel supported
  • Display better cognitive skills
  • Decrease stress levels
  • Improve their mood

Dogs Provide Companionship

Perhaps the best part of growing up with a dog is that you have a best friend who is always there by your side. Whether your child has had a good day or bad day, your dog is always there to lend a helping paw. There are many ways that a dog can show you and your children love, and many of these will form the basis of happy memories that will last a lifetime.

No matter whether a family member has two legs or four, they need the right support to thrive. Here at Bil-Jac, we strive to provide the best-tasting, most nutritious dog food possible for one of the most important members of your family. Join our Best Friends Club today to receive our exclusive email newsletter with members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products, dog care tips, and other helpful articles.

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