Dog ownership has physical, mental, emotional and health benefits for all members of the family.
Research shows that people who own dogs are more likely to meet recommendations for healthy amounts of activity as they usually need to take their dogs out for walks and are motivated to exercise with their furry friends as well.
Mental & Emotional
Dogs can provide comfort through companionship and help to build family bonds. A dog is often the focus of activities that families do together, such as taking the dog for a walk, or sharing in grooming and feeding or even just snuggling up with the dog on a cold winter day.
Dogs can also foster cognitive and social development in children. They provide a great means for improving socialization skills, especially in terms of meeting and interacting with other dog owners, and can even help children that are having a difficult time learning to read by lending a non-judgmental ear and comforting presence when these children are practicing their reading skills.
Finally, dog ownership can also encourage nurturing, responsibility and empathy in children through caring for and loving a dog.
Dog ownership can protect against high blood pressure and stress as well. The American Heart Association recommends that pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be a reasonable reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.
Additionally, an article published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. It has also been demonstrated that having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing allergies, such as asthma. It’s hypothesized that being exposed to bacteria early in life is crucial for shaping a healthy immune system, and may play a role in modifying a person’s risk of developing asthma and allergies.