Why are kids happier who grew up with a dog?
As a child, I also wanted a puppy, but since we lived in a block of flats, my parents wouldn’t let me. Of course, there was a reason for that too, as a dog needs a lot of room that our flat lacked of. There was never any argument about it as I knew they were right.
As an adult, however, I already have two dogs in a house with a garden and I feel it is a completely different kind of love than what I have experienced so far. A dog is faithful and gives his life to me, so in return, I love him and take care of him too.
But, what would be different if I got the puppy I wanted as a child? The experts looked at the relationship between dogs and children and how a four-legged pet affects a child’s life.
It turns out that it is of great importance whether we grow up next to a dog or not. The earliest and favorite childhood memories of many of us certainly belong to the family dog. In addition to our four-legged favorites being pleasant company, they teach children to take responsibility, compassion, and care. The relationship between the child and the dog is happy and safe.
Children who grow up with a dog learn sooner about the love and protection of animals and the fact that they must be taken care of. Dogs teach extremely important things about life that accompany us into our adulthood.
These dogs show the kind of attachment, love, respect, and selflessness. They are real teachers.
The University of Western Australia and Telethon Children’s Institute have conducted joint research, the results of which are quite clear. Namely, children who live and grow up in a household with a dog will be more socially and emotionally developed than their peers.
During the study, 1,646 families with children aged 2–5 years completed the questionnaire. In the study, the results showed that infants who lived in a canine family had twenty-three percent fewer problems with social interactions and emotions than those who did not.
Furthermore, antisocial behavior was thirty percent less likely or forty percent less likely for canine children to behave inappropriately with other children. In addition, the chance of sharing their affairs with others and acting selflessly increased by thirty-four percent.
Although it was obvious to professionals from the first moment that a dog had a positive effect on children, they did not expect such results.
We also need to know that dog walking also plays an extremely important role in children’s socialization. Playing together is very important, because if a close relationship develops between the animal and the child, it will later have a good relationship with other children.
An earlier experiment also revealed that children growing up with a dog are also healthier, as in addition to the four-legged pet, the immune system is also much stronger, and as a result, children will be much more resistant to disease later on.