Love, friendship, health and happiness – growing up with dogs is pawsome… Whether you grew up with dogs or you’re a parent juggling the joys of children and dogs, you’ll know that there is something rather wonderful about sharing your home with hounds.
To celebrate the arrival of Stanley in our lives (he’s the adorable but very naughty Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier on the left) we’ve put together a few of the reasons why growing up with dogs is such a delight.
Compassion and responsibility
Caring for a dog, or indeed any pet, is a brilliant way to give children a sense of responsibility – whether it’s grooming and walking or just filling the bowl with fresh water each day. This in turn helps children develop kindness, understanding and respect for others. These kinds of social skills are not just invaluable for childhood friendships, they will also be transferred to your kids’ relationships in adult life.
“All my children are dog lovers and very understanding of their needs. They have to make compromises from time to time, but I believe this is good for them – they need to learn the world does not revolve around them. And my son Corey says having dogs means you cannot be materialistic! Willow the Collie has wrecked a lot of stuff. Five catflaps. Cushions. Endless dog brushes. A phone!!” Keri at The Dog And I
An active life
Let’s be honest, it can be hard to get our kids out of the house some days. But when you have a dog, “going for a walk” takes on a whole new meaning. No more ambling aimlessly through the woods, staring at the floor and asking, “How much further?”. Now your kids are running, jumping and throwing. They’re discovering places they never would have noticed before and they’re doing it with big smiles on their faces.
“The best thing about having a dog when you are a kid is that, unlike adults, dogs are always up for an adventure and they never get tired of playing. A bit like children really. In fact, having Stanley is just like having a small and very naughty child in the house!” Natalie at The Lounging Hound
Here comes the science bit. Children who grow up around dogs are 50% less likely to develop allergies and asthma than those who grow up without a dog. This is attributed to the fact that a child growing up around a dog will have a much sturdier immune system. Add to that the fact that pet ownership is widely believed to help lower blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, and the fact that daily walking is a superb form of exercise and you have one happy healthy child on your hands.
“My children are all fit and healthy and we very rarely have any issues with illness. I genuinely put this down to an active outdoor life and exposure to the natural dirt and inevitably germs that playing with dogs will bring. There is no cotton wool wrapping in our household!” Keri at The Dog And I
Dogs and children can become great friends. Dogs don’t judge, they don’t tease, they don’t argue back (well, not usually!) and they are always happy to see you when you arrive home. Children can trust their dog with their innermost secrets, and rely on them to be ever-willing playmates.
“My son George and Spud the Border Terrier had an amazing inseparable bond which spanned his childhood. Throughout various schools, five houses and two different countries, Spud was George’s constant, always there watching over him. Teaching him about unconditional love, trust and providing companionship and cuddles in those perfect moments that only dogs seem to be capable of detecting.” Alison at Ministry of Dog