Dogs are, without a doubt, the most devoted, sensitive, and loyal creatures a person can wish for. Needless to say, there isn’t a child that doesn’t dream of owning a dog at some point. However, the additional responsibilities and financial costs make parents second-guess that decision. Yet, before you deny your child a new furry friend, you should know that dogs can be good for your child’s development and health. Let us now go further and see how dogs can lower stress and anxiety in children.
Many Studies Have Proven It True
The most recent research shows that kids who play or interact with a dog have lower stress hormone levels, fewer feelings of loneliness, are more socially active, and are physically fitter. According to experts, dogs can also boost children’s self-confidence and overall well-being. If you’re still having second thoughts about taking care of a mischievous animal, consider having it trained by professionals before you leave it in your child’s carefree hands. That way, you’ll be sure your child is in the safest and most loving company when you’re not around.
Results and Numbers of More Extensive Studies
For a month, kids in one group interacted with a trained dog and its handler for 20 minutes two times a week. Whenever the kids wanted to, they would pet the dog for a while and play. In a different group, kids spent the same amount of time practicing relaxation techniques without the dogs. A third group of children was designated as the control group.
Before and after the four-week trial, researchers collected saliva from each child to evaluate their cortisol levels. They also measured the cortisol levels of the neurotypical children before and after each session. Overall, they discovered that kids in the dog-intervention group had the lowest cortisol levels. This study undoubtedly shows the importance of dogs to children’s mental health.
Any Change is a Stressful Period for a Child
Whether it’s a new school, a new home, or a new city, any stressful change for an adult is at least twice as stressful for the child. And while a move to a new home or a city can be very stressful, you have the option to hire a reliable moving company, and the pros can handle it for you, and they will take care of the relocation stress-free. Unlike grown-up problems and solutions, child stress-related causes can run wider and deeper. Adapting to new surroundings, making new friends, and clicking with the “cool crowd” are all the things that children need to figure out to feel in the element again. A dog can be a great companion during those transition times. It can be a great help for all and any insecurities a child may develop during the adaptation period.
Dogs Can Prevent Child Obesity
Yes, you heard it right; having a dog can positively influence your child’s BMI (Body Mass Index). Of course, this should not be the result of your dog secretly grabbing any junk food his young owner was planning on eating. Though in some cases, this may happen, depending on the dog and its behavioral habits. In that case, you should consult dog training experts. They can help make your pet more restrained and more selective about its and anyone else’s food. Having a well-trained dog when it comes to its food is a good thing for your pet’s health and can even set an example for your kids. Once they see that their four-legged friend is a healthy and refined eater, they too may follow by example. Aside from the eating habits, dogs will motivate children to spend a lot more time outdoors, engaged in recreational activities. Taking part in physical activities is also beneficial for children’s mental health.
Pulling Kids Away from Modern Addictions is a Way How Dogs can Lower Stress and Anxiety in Children
In these modern times, kids are exposed to the virtual and digital from their youngest age. We all know that they need to follow current trends in education and socializing; otherwise, they will be left behind. But everything should be done with moderation and limitation, regardless of what medium it’s conveyed. Too much exposure and time spent will incite an addiction, leading to many potential mental and social challenges. The great thing is that now you needn’t be the bad guy when imposing restrictions on cell phones and social media. Offer your kid to take the dog for a walk, give it a bath, and teach it a new trick. They will eagerly put on hold anything virtual they are doing and divert their attention to the tangible creature that awaits them.
Having a Dog Teaches Kids Responsibility
You should never harshly condition your kids when it comes to pets. They must know that under no circumstances will their pet be taken away from them, but they should understand that any abuse or negligence will impact the dog’s well-being and happiness. Aside from the basic rules, you must set some boundaries and schedules. Times and needs such as:
- Walking time
- Feeding time
- Cleaning time
These may be the first real responsibilities your child has to take, so be patient and helpful during the trial run. They need to understand that now they are responsible for another living being. Anything that they forget or skip to do will directly affect a living creature. Once kids know their dog loves them unconditionally and beyond anything and anyone, their moral compass and a sense of responsibility will fire up, and they will be diligent and timely with all their chores.
Dogs Can Boost Kids’ Health and Immunity
Most of us mistakenly believe that keeping a pet makes allergies more likely, but this is untrue. For example, there are much higher chances for an allergic reaction from inadequately stored furniture. That’s why Ben Hur Moving & Storage NYC company advises that when storing your furniture and belongings, you opt for climate controlled, clean, pest-free, and safe storage solution. Dogs, on the other hand, might and can help kids’ immune systems. By exposing children to the many germs a dog brings in from the outside, having dogs at home strengthens their immune systems. So, if you’re concerned about your child’s low immunity, get an adorable puppy and watch what happens. Initially, there may be some adverse reaction, but that will subside, and new and improved immunity will kick in. Of course, ensure the dog is vaccinated on time, flee and worm-free, and everything will be alright.
They are Great Guardians
Whether the fear is of other animals, imaginary monsters, or actual intruders, the presence of their guardian friend will keep them all at bay. If your child is traumatized or scared of something, there is a good chance that facing it with their pet will alleviate that trauma. Just knowing that they have their guardian on the clock will significantly help them stay calm and stress-free. We’ve all heard numerous tales of dogs protecting children from intruders, hazardous animals, and mishaps. Dogs act as a baby’s guardian at every stage and can continue being so for as long as they live. So consider them not only as a pet but as a protector for you and your child. Be sure that no one would sacrifice more nor care more than a dog protecting its best friend.
Dogs are Incredibly Empathetic
Though you may not know it, dogs can feel more than you realize. They needn’t understand words to be aware of a person’s emotional state. A dog can sense when a child is depressed or emotionally unstable and will offer companionship and support, which is exactly how dogs can lower stress and anxiety in children. Unlike adults, children tend not to worry about money, jobs, or some particular kind of problem an expert is needed to solve. Children’s issues tend to be emotional and social; thus, a supportive pup is an excellent companion. After your dog has mended your child’s emotional ache, you may want to show your appreciation for its good deed. You can book an appointment and learn how to express gratitude with a magical, professional touch massage for your dog. That way, you’ll award it appropriately every time it does something commendable.
It’s not without a reason that dog is a man’s best friend, is a well-known saying. For centuries, dogs have helped, protected, and kept us company. So it is no surprise that dogs can lower stress and anxiety in children. Dogs are caring, faithfully, and ever vigilant regarding their little owners. They will give their all and expect nothing but friendship and a little love. Having a dog around your child will have a guaranteed friend and the best therapist no money can buy. Your kid will grow emotionally stable and with endless support from his furry friend. And once the youngster is all grown up and ready to take on the world, the dog will know its life has a true purpose.
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