Adopting A Dog Is Good For Your Children

Most people already know that adopting a dog has its benefits and is certainly a good thing for the pup you rescue. But introducing a canine member to your family is particularly beneficial to kids.
I know this first-hand. When my young daughter Lily and I rescued a senior dog I almost immediately saw a change in the way she handled chores and all dog-related activities. We three began exploring parks in communities surrounding our East Greenbush home and even became familiar with parks that allowed leashed dogs in Albany, Clifton Park, Delmar and other Capital District locations. I was so happy to see Lily trade in her hand-held Neopets game for outdoor exercise and the real thing!
Children learn to take responsibility for the animal which, at the very least, includes feeding it, cleaning it and playing with it. But according to — an online publication for moms and moms-to-be — here are some of the top reasons children and dogs are such a great match.
  • If a baby grows up with a dog in the house their immune system may be more resistant to colds and respiratory infections.
  • Children with a dog will no longer have as much time to sit on the sofa and play video games and will instead be motivated to exercise and play with their dog.
  • A dog teaches a child how to care for pets; how to feed it, clean it and play with it.
  • Dogs are always ready to defend their family and keep adults and children safe.
  • Dogs are believed to relieve depression. A household with dogs will tend to be more cheerful as the presence of canines can relieve tensions and stress.
  • Children are more active when dogs are present. Walking a dog, running and playing with a dog keeps kids outdoors and more fit.
  • Dogs teach children unconditional love. By providing care for their dog without asking for anything in return a child learns about unconditional love.
  • Dogs teach children altruism. A child’s personality often improves in the presence of a dog. Dogs teach children to care for others.
  • Caring for a dog requires establishing a routine. Children thrive and become more confident when a routine is in place.
  • Young children develop speech sooner when a dog is present. Wanting to call their dog or give it a command will inspire young children to utter words and sentences sooner.
  • Dogs incite the development of social skills in children. Studies have revealed that by interacting with dogs children are better able to develop more friendships and be more comfortable in group situations.
  • Dogs are heart healthy for humans. Families with dogs are  less susceptible to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Walking and exercising with a dog can improve the family’s health as well as help eliminate stress.
  • Dogs are great listeners and secret-keepers. During times of sadness, frustration and stress a child’s (or adult’s) dog will be there for her or him. They are terrific stress relievers!
  • Children and dogs are a lot alike. A dog’s brain is similar to a child’s brain, according to scientists. A dog will keep a child engaged in the home.
  • Daily interaction with dogs can improve a child’s ability to think on their feet and make decisions, which can positively impact their school life.
Adding a four-legged family member to your home can be great for your kids and yourself. Contact the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands (518) 434-8128 and Albany area pet rescues to inquire about dogs and other pets that are currently available for adoption.
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