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The benefits of having a family pet

We all know raising kids is a never-ending challenge. From worrying about their health, schooling, physical activity and overall development; parents practically have no time left for themselves. Even if they do, they’re constantly worrying about their children, missing them loads and looking forward to seeing them again. With that being said, is getting a pet even worth it for the modern family? Aside from the obvious benefits of added cuteness to the household, would the costs ultimately outweigh benefits? Let’s explore how having a family pet, in our example a dog, could potentially benefit a typical family.

Health:

Having a dog in your household can benefit your child’s physical and mental health. From infants all the way to adolescence, there are advantages to having a pet. Infants are shown to have stronger immune systems, while teenagers are more likely to report regular social interactions and a sense of community. Kids with pets will generally be more physically active, as at the very minimum kids would be outside walking their dogs.

Establishing good habits:

Having a dog means having responsibilities; from daily walks and feedings as well as grooming and training. Having a dog in the household can teach kids about discipline and establish a consistent set of habits. We can teach kids about developing short-term goals by asking them to walk the dog for a certain amount of times per week, and give them a small reward after. This helps build confidence and sets them on a path to use the same methodology to attain bigger goals later in life.

Independence:

Having a dog as a protector will give parents the relief and freedom to allow their kids to be by themselves. According to this study, parents are more willing allow kids to walk around neighborhoods independently if they had a dog with them. With this in mind, we can task kids to do small errands, like going to the corner store. This can help instill a child’s confidence at an early age and make them less dependent on their parents for every task.

Happiness:

Finally, having the family’s best buddy around will put a smile on you and your child’s face more often. It can do wonders in other areas as well. According to the American Board of Family Medicine, having dogs can enhance a family’s happiness, self-worth, security while reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

With so many positive benefits, you may be more inclined to get a family pet right now. However, before doing so, note the implications of getting a pet, the amount of responsibility it takes, and the fact that he/she will need a forever home - not just a temporary one. If you’ve taken these factors into consideration and still find it manageable to welcome a new family member, we wish you all best and unlimited fun times with the family pup!

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