A dog can actually be a great addition to your family, especially if you have a baby! You may think that we are crazy for suggesting a dog when you already have the responsibility of a baby, but the truth is that there are actually a lot of great benefits that come along with raising your baby around a dog. Let’s take a closer look at these reasons, and you can decide if a dog is right for your family.
#1 – Fight Off Allergy and Asthma
First and foremost, children that are brought up around pets are far less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma. This is because they are introduced to many more allergens, and they are able to build an immunity to many of them. If you are worried that the dog might actually cause more allergies than it prevents, then you might consider a hypoallergenic breed.
#2 – Promotes Activity
Did you know that babies that start out being active when they first become mobile are less likely to develop blood pressure problems, and other issues that arise from a sedentary lifestyle later in life? Instead of letting your baby sit in a swing or jumpy seat, why not let them play with your pet? This will get them active, and will help to keep them healthy. You can take your baby and your dog to a local dog park and let them play. Pack a picnic with treats for both, and have a blast!
#3 – Fewer Doctor’s Visits
That’s right. Having a dog can actually lead to fewer doctor’s visits. This is due in part to the fact that dogs bring in a lot of bacteria and germs. This might seem like a bad thing at first, but if you think about it, it really helps to promote better health because it keeps you in minimal contact with certain bacteria and germs and helps you to develop immunity. It is a lot like the allergies and asthma. While a dog may be an added responsibility, it just might pay off with lower medical care costs.
#4 – Spend More Time Outdoors
This day and age, kids are staying indoors more often than not. This is starting as early as infancy! Kids need to get outside and get fresh air, and babies are no different. If you have a dog, your baby will likely spend more time outdoors in the fresh air. It is really good for them, and it can help to boost their activity levels and keep them from becoming a couch potato when they are older. It’s never too early to promote a healthy lifestyle.
#5 – Promote Good Social Skills
Dogs are actually very social animals. They enjoy our attention, just as much as we enjoy giving them our attention. When your baby interacts with a puppy, they will learn effective social skills. This can start very early on. Talk to your baby and your pup together, and help show them how to be social. They may not say words you can understand, but interaction is important.
#6 – Encourage Childhood Responsibility from the Start
If you want your baby to grow up to be responsible, show them the importance of childhood responsibility. You may start by having your baby help you pour their food into their dish, or helping you get their water when they are old enough. Even if they aren’t old enough to help, the fact that they watch you take care of the dog is going to encourage them to take responsibility when they are older.
#7 – They Have Fun Together
Let’s face it, dog isn’t man’s best friend for no reason. Adults and kids alike can really have a lot of fun with a dog. You can play games like fetch, and often times babies will just sit back and laugh and have a good time watching the dog play. Laughter really is the best medicine, even for babies!
#8 – Create Additional Bonds
Sure, your baby will have a bond between parents, siblings, close friends, caregivers and others who are close to them, but creating an additional bond between them and a pet can really be great. If you let the baby grow up with a puppy, chances are they will be best buds!
#9 – Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Studies have shown that having a dog around can help to reduce anxiety and stress in adults, and why should it be any different in babies and children? Dogs have this uncanny ability to get people to calm down and cheer up.
#10 – Improve Impulse Control
Last, but certainly not least, your pet can teach your baby to have better impulse control. Impulses are hard enough to control as an adult, but for babies and children it can be nearly impossible. Your dog can promote improved impulse control in your child, and in fact, service dogs are often used for children with Autism and other conditions that are associated with a lack of impulse control.
As you can see, raising a baby around a dog can actually be a great idea! There are not only great social benefits, but also great health benefits. If you are unsure about what type of dog you should get, why not take a closer look at what breeds are best for babies and children. Some breeds are more ‘kid-friendly’ than others. You need to look into temperaments, size, and other details before you choose a pet. If you have kids with allergies, then you may need to look into hypoallergenic breeds that produce less dander. The bottom line is that your baby can benefit by having a dog in the home!