"Mom, can I have a dog?" "Dad, I would like a dog." If these phrases are familiar to you and you hear them on a daily basis, then it is high time to consider whether your family really deserves a new four-legged member. Moreover, the presence of a dog in the family seems to have a positive effect on both children and adolescents.

Are you one of those people who have been dreaming of a dog for a long time, but at the same time you are worried whether a four-legged friend will fit into your family routine? If you and your offspring want a dog, then really consider getting one. According to many experts, it seems that dogs have a positive effect on a child's development. At least that's what the website PsychCentral reports. And how do dogs specifically affect your child's life?

Positive impact on mental health
Maybe you know it yourself. You're having a bad day and the only thing that can help you is watching cute dog videos on the internet. And now imagine that you had such a little boy at home. Pets significantly affect our mental health, and this applies not only to adults, but also to children. This is also confirmed by a study from 2015, which showed that growing up with a dog is related to a lower level of anxiety in children. It is also important to mention that when children have a pet to interact with, they are better able to cope with stress. "If a child grows up with a dog, they can feel an emotional connection during stressful times," says therapist Jackie Tassiello.

Focused on social skills
Life with a pet is not just about constant cuddling, stroking and throwing balls. On the contrary, it also brings with it a number of responsibilities that, as the owner, you must handle perfectly. And it certainly doesn't hurt if children also get involved in caring for the dog. Older children can regularly walk the dog, younger children can add pellets or water. They can also participate in washing, combing or other type of dog care. Thanks to the dog's presence, children learn social skills, which again can have a positive impact on their lives.

Better communication skills
Interestingly, dogs can improve children's communication and language skills. Especially if you train the dog and give him commands. Once children are involved in the training, they quickly acquire the ability to give clear and precise commands. You can also use the dog as a "listener" when practicing reading for children. Dogs don't judge, they don't evaluate, and on the contrary, they patiently listen to a child's reading, which again leads to an improvement in speech.

Support of physical activity
Of course, living with a dog also means a lot of time you have to spend outside. If you feel that your children do not move much, then know that with the arrival of a pet, their attitude towards movement will change. Playing around with the dog, regular nature walks or family trips with the dog - these are only a fraction of the events that await you.

What about an allergy?
Last but not least, it is important to mention that living with a pet can also benefit physical health. A 2017 study found that children who live with a dog are less likely to develop allergies. It's all due to the fact that they are exposed to allergens from an early age, such as dog fur or dirt that the pet brings from the outside environment. Of course, it is true that this is one study, and its conclusions cannot be taken as dogma. Still, it's a thought worth pondering.

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