Home & FamilyParentingWhy Every Family Should Have a Dog

Why Every Family Should Have a Dog

When you think of the ideal American family, what comes to mind? A happy family, sitting around the kitchen table, enjoying a home cooked meal. They play games and enjoy TV shows together. Chances are, they also have a dog.

Nearly 40% of American households has a dog in the family. They make great companions; they are loyal and reliable, and in many cases entertaining and just as much a part of the family as anybody else. Yet they are also effective for relieving stress, among many other things. If your family is considering getting a dog, consider these benefits of pet ownership.

Exercise

Pets are the best motivator for getting exercise. All dogs should be taken for a walk–not just let out in the yard to do their business–at least once a day. This is great for both you and the dog to get more exercise and take in some fresh air. It is also a great way to get the children outside more, as they will want to tag along when walking the dog.

Responsibility

Having a dog in the family is an excellent way to teach kids about responsibility at an early age. Because they most likely have a closer relationship with the dog than you do, they will feel more inclined to take care of it. Make your children a schedule so they know when the dog needs to be walked or let outside, and when the dog needs to eat. Also show your kids the importance and difference between types of premium dog food, and which is appropriate for the dog’s diet. Teaching your kids responsibility and critical thinking from early on will prepare them for the real world.

Safety

If there’s anything we’ve learned about dogs is that they are incredibly obedient to their families, and will go to any means to protect them. Dogs’ heightened sense of smell and hearing will allow you and your family to feel safe in case of a break-in or other kinds of danger in your home.

Coping with Loss

Learning to deal with loss from early on in life is healthy for children. Because dogs have a lifespan of around 15 years, it will help children learn how to cope with losing someone important to them. While this is one of the toughest parts of life, losing your companion can become a learning tool for your children to understand it’s okay to cry, and how to deal with loss. This will also prepare them for other losses in their lives in the future.

Overall Happiness

As mentioned, owning a dog helps relieve stress. This can be true on both an individual and family level. Statistically, families who own dogs are much likely to be happier, as they contribute positively to a sometimes tense home environment. With this furry addition to your family, you will always have someone to turn to who will listen to your woes and love you unconditionally even in the worst of times.

If you are ready to make this addition to your family, seek out a local adoption agency for abandoned dogs. Give a loving home to animals who desperately need it. You and your family will find much more happiness and plenty of memories to come when you discover the beauty of owning a dog.

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