Children with Dogs are More Independent

19 January, 2019
Here at My Animals, we never get tired of repeating how much good it does for a little one to grow up with a pet.

A study at the School of Public Health at the University of Western Australia suggests that children with dogs are more independent.

What was the Australian study on children with dogs about?

The study, led by Dr. Hayley Christian and published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, refers to how having a pet, preferably a dog, or living with an older sibling influences children’s mobility and personal independence.

A child with two dogs.

In order to come to this conclusion, Christian and her team analysed data obtained from a total of 181 children between 8 and 15 years old, both male and female. At the same time, the researchers took the attitude of the parents about certain subjects into account.

For example, they considered whether the children were allowed to go to school alone or to play in a nearby park. On the other hand, they checked if the parents always made sure that the children went to places accompanied by other children or adults.

Why do children with dogs have greater independence?

Thus, they concluded that a very small percentage of minors went out without their parents’ supervision. The main reason for this was a fear that they might be victims of a traffic accident or a crime.

Certainly, it is clear from the study that the fact that children leave their homes in the company of an older sibling or the family dog ​​gives the parents a greater sense of security and peace of mind.

This consideration is fundamental in order for parents to begin to give their children more freedom and independence.

Dogs, great allies in raising our children better

And so it is that, in addition to being great playmates for children and ensuring a happy childhood as a result, having a dog has a large number of benefits. These include:

  • It encourages responsibility. Little by little, as children grow up, they learn that they have a duty to meet their pet’s needs (food, water, hygiene, walks, etc.).
  • They get sick less. Certainly, children who have lived with pets since they were babies have a stronger immune system and develop fewer allergies as they grow up.
  • They understand that they must respect their dog and all living beings. For example, they do not mistreat them or bother them when they are eating or sleeping.
  • It ensures that they do more physical activity and spend more time outdoors. This keeps them away from computers, television, cell phones, etc. — at least for a while.

Other benefits of your little one having a dog

In addition, in different research it has been found that children with dogs:

  • Are more intuitive and sensitive
  • Have better self-esteem
  • Have their senses stimulated more
  • Are more often in a better mood
  • Manage to develop more empathy
  • Are better at social integration
  • Have enhanced non-verbal communication

Make your child more independent and happy: Adopt a dog

Two children with their dog.

However, for all of this to be possible, you must teach your child by example and, in correct way, in order to give him confidence. That way, he can begin to feel the responsibility that comes with being independent.

Have no doubt that your family dog will be a great ally in raising a healthy and happy child. Additionally, it will enable you to instill concepts such as responsibility and independence in him from a young age. In turn, this will surely make him a better person throughout his life.

So, if it is an option for you, add a pet to your family. Both the children and adults in the family will thank you.