Deciding to have a dog join the family can be difficult. The difficulties are obvious. Dogs need attention and care. They will need to be trained. Depending on their size, the budget could be quite different. Plans for vacations may need to be adjusted… Is it really worth it? Well here are 12 benefits a dog can bring to your family.

General benefits

  1. Loads of happiness

Having a dog brings happiness into a home.  Many studies have shown that the fact of stroking a dog or even just gazing at each other reduces your stress hormones and increases your levels of oxytocin, which is the love hormone.  (1)

2. A faithful friend

It is said that dogs are man’s best friend, and for a good reason.  They are so sensitive to our feelings. They know immediately if you are sad.  They listen with empathy to your children who can tell them their secrets knowing very well that the secret will be well kept.  It is especially great for children to0young to have a diary.

3. Good training for future parents

What better training could future parents get?  With a puppy they will learn to dog proof their home.  They will see how disciplining with love is much more effective than violence.  Dogs teach us patience, give us a chance to evaluate our values.  Is a certain thing really important to us, or can we let it go for the dogs good?  Parenting requires many sacrifices on our part, dogs do too, but we can see the rewards of our sacrifice much quicker.

4. Safety

Dogs bring a feeling of safety.  Even small dogs can be wonderful guard dogs.  Their hearing is very developed, and they can warn very loudly that someone is wandering around the house.  Burglars get scared and leave.  Big dogs are more impressive, and burglars will think twice before entering.

Character building

5. Teaching responsibility

When my oldest daughter Nathanaëlle got her very own dog, she was eight years old.  She learned how to feed and brush her dog and take her out on walks every day.  When she was not at school it was her job. She knew that Baika depended on her.

6. Dealing with emotions

Dogs are very sensitive to our emotions.  They read us perfectly and you can see immediately the effect your anger, sadness, or joy has on your dog.  Children will learn that they must find more acceptable behaviors to control and deal with their emotions.  Dogs are not toys, and they do have teeth…

7. Meeting people

When I got my first dog, I was single and lived in a big apartment building.  Since I was shy and very reserved, I had not met many of my neighbors, not knowing how to go about it.  But taking Ruben out 3 times a day, I got to meet several.  Ladies would hang out watching their children play. Ruben loved children, and so we got to chat and soon I could hardly walk my dog alone, so many children wanted to go on the walk…

8. Gaining independence

Nath wanted to play in the woods behind our house and cross the village to go see her friends.  I was not willing to let her go so far all by herself at 10 years old!  But I knew that if anything happened her cairn terrier Baika would run home to get me.  So, she was allowed to do many things on her own and gain independence.

Good for your health

9. Increase movement

So many studies show the importance of movement for our health. When you have a dog, you must give him exercise.  For many years I suffered from arthritis and the last thing I wanted to do was go for a walk.  But L’Aser needed his daily walks, and it kept me moving.  The girls would spend time in the garden playing with the dogs instead of watching TV.  Nath also went to agility classes with her dog.

10. Less sickness

It seems so contradictory, but we live now in a very antisepticized world.  Especially now with COVID-19, we are always washing our hands.  Germs, bacteria, are important for us to develop immunity and be able to resist sicknesses.  The dogs’ fur is full of these germs and bacteria.  Petting him allows our body to create these auto-immunities so important for us.  Studies have shown that children who have dogs miss school less than those who do not.

11. Better resistance to allergies

Studies also show that young children in contact with dogs develop a better resistance to allergies, which is not the same with cats.

12. Quicker healing

Pet owners also recover quicker after a sickness than those who do not.  Since their immune system is stronger and they need to get better in order to care for their four-legged friend.

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