Dogs have practically become a staple in the typical American family. They are just as much a part of the family as anybody else; they sit with us during meal times, they watch TV with us, and they’re also a source of entertainment for everybody. Almost 40 percent of American households currently own at least one dog.
And with good reason. Dogs are loyal pets; they make great companions and are much more easily trainable than most other pets. People who own dogs tend to have lower blood pressure, plus a variety of other added benefits. If you are considering adopting a dog for your family, here are a few reasons why you should.
The hot summer weather is a major demotivator for getting outside. Having a dog is great motivation to change your mindset! You should take your dog for a walk each day–not just around the back yard–to explore the neighborhood. This will get you used to the summer weather while getting in a few minutes of walking time. This is beneficial for both you and the dog. Plus, the kids might want to tag along; getting them to go outside will seem much easier with a dog around.
While we teach our kids the importance of keeping up with homework and doing chores when they’re supposed to, it can sometimes be a chore in and of itself to keep them consistently doing work. With a dog around, the kids have a fun way to learn responsibility. Put up a schedule to show the kids when the dog needs to be walked and fed. Let them take the dog out for a walk themselves. Also bring them to the store with you and let them look at all the different types of food. Show them the difference between regular and gourmet dog food and which you normally buy. This is a great method for not only teaching responsibility, but also critical thinking.
At least once a week, we will hear or see a story on the news on the heroic feats of a family dog. While not every dog is capable of saving a child from a burning building, they are still very protective of the family that loves them. Their senses of hearing and smell are much greater than that of human beings, meaning they can detect the smells or sounds of potential danger. Plus, burglars are less likely to enter a house if they hear a dog barking.
Teaching About Loss
One of the hardest parts about owning a dog is its shortened lifespan. This means, at some point in your child’s life, they will have to deal with the loss of the family dog. While this is a disheartening subject, dealing with this type of loss will prepare your children for coping with the loss of a friend or family member in the future. The death of a companion is an opportunity for you to tell your children it’s okay to cry, and show them the best ways to deal with the passing of a loved one.
Dogs make a great addition to any family. Their overall playful and happy-go-lucky attitudes help create an environment of peace within a home. If you are ready to bring home a furry companion to your family, visit a local shelter to find that perfect pup who will bring unconditional love and joy to your family for years to come.
Guest Author: Peter Bulger
Peter is a father, leisurely blogger, and proud companion of three dogs.