Over60

Family & Pets

Why owning a dog will benefit your grandkids when they’re at home

Why owning a dog will benefit your grandkids when they’re at home

If you’re a parent, you might be feeling a little crazy having been cooped up with your kids during lockdown… And now the school holidays are around the corner! 

More so than ever, now is a great time to get a dog. You’ll not only be offering a home to a pup who needs one, but you may be surprised at the benefits having a dog can offer to your child - especially when they’re stuck at home. 

Here’s why owning a dog will benefit your kids (and you) while you’re at home. 

Dogs get the kids outdoors 

Especially in today’s world, it can be easy to sit in front of a screen for days on end without even realising it. A dog, however, needs to spend some time outdoors. They’re also less likely to fight with you when you tell them to go outside! 

Owning a dog will help your kids spend some much-needed time in the yard, getting physical exercise without even knowing they’re doing it. 

Encourage them to walk the dog daily (even if it is around the yard), spend some time throwing a ball, playing tug-of-war, or wrestling. All of these are just fun and games to your child and your pet, but your kid will be getting some Vitamin D and fresh air instead of being hypnotised by the laptop or TV. 

Having a dog teaches valuable skills 

 A nice side effect of getting your child to walk and play with the dog is that it teaches them some responsibility. Make it clear to your child that by spending time with their pup, they’re taking care of the dog’s needs. First-time dog owners must take keen care to their pet, even if they are only kids, they can have a shared responsibility for parenting their newest companion. You could also get them involved in feeding, bathing, and taking the pooch to the vet. 

As well as giving your child a chance to learn to be responsible, owning a dog will help increase EQ and develop compassion, empathy, and patience. A fluffy, furry, bundle of love and licks somehow manages to teach these lessons better than the human parents - and that is just true for all of us! 

Dogs can actually boost the immune system 

Vitamin-Pup can make a bigger difference to your child’s health than you may believe! Living with a pooch exposes you to bacteria that you may otherwise never come into contact with. 

This “bacteria-sharing” can build the immune system and help prevent allergies, strengthen the respiratory system, and keep your kiddies’ body security cells on their toes. 

For kids who have no siblings, their dog can become their best friend. This is especially important in today’s climate, where social distancing and quarantining have become the norm. Owning a dog can keep your kid’s mental health up, as well as their physical health! 

Kid-friendly breeds 

Although it’s easy to fall in love with doggy eyes regardless of what breed they are, some breeds’ disposition makes them better with kids than others. While every dog has the potential to be gentle and lovable, it may make you feel safer choosing a breed that’s known to be great with kids. Here are some wonderful choices of gentle dogs: 

  • Golden Retriever. 
  • Staffordshire Terrier. 
As well as some more boisterous but still lovely family pets: 

  • Australian Shepherd (that fur!). 
  • Jack Russell. 
  • Border Collie. 
It’s also important to teach your kids to treat their pup right from the start. A dog that’s treated well will naturally have less inclination to be aggressive or too over-protective. A happy pup decreases the chance of a bad experience! 

Adopt or buy? 

If you’ve decided to buy or adopt a dog, congrats! I can guarantee you have many happy times ahead (and many amazing photo opportunities with kid and dog!). Your child’s immune system should improve, and you may notice they’re spending more time outdoors - without you even having to tell them to! 

So, should you adopt from a shelter or should you buy from a breeder? There are some advantages and disadvantages to each. 

Buy: 

  • You can trace your pup’s lineage. 
  • Your pooch should come with papers. 
  • Vaccinations should be up to date. 
  • It’s helpful for purebreds, to know they truly are pure. 
Buying from a breeder is more expensive. 

Some breeders use “puppy mills” - check carefully! 

Adopt: 

  • You could quite possibly be saving a life. 
  • It’s more affordable than a breeder. 
  • Variety of breeds to choose from. 
  • The shelter should vaccinate them for you. 
  • The pup may already be spayed or neutered. 
There’s no way to tell what behavioural issues may come up as a result of their past experience. 

If you choose to buy, make sure you select a reputable breeder. If adopting, choose a shelter or rescue center that has a solid reputation and looks after their animals properly. 

Every kid should have a dog, and every dog should have a kid- they are both loyal to each other. Apart from the sheer joy you’ll see when they interact, there are some real benefits to owning a dog during the lockdown, school holidays, or pretty much any time - for you, your kids, and the pup! 

Written by Mike Powell.