Categories: General Health

Dogs can help reduce stress in Children

It’s no doubt that dogs are human’s best friends, empathic partners, and most loyal beings. Every child wants to have a puppy at one point or another. However, parents commonly tend to decline their requests considering extra chores, possible allergies to the kids, and financial burdens that come with keeping a pet. But dogs can be beneficial to our child’s health and development.

According to the latest studies, children who play or spend time with a dog have lower stress hormone levels, reduced feelings of loneliness, are socially active, and physically more fit. Besides teaching responsibility and social interaction to children, experts say owning a dog can also help them develop self-confidence.

According to the latest research published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers divided children into three groups to find the effect of a pet on stress levels. One group had 20 minutes of exposure to a trained dog twice a week for four weeks, the second group had no pet exposure, and the third group practiced meditation for a similar duration. The comparable results show that the children with dogs had lower stress hormone (cortisol) levels than the other two groups. The researchers claimed that school-going children experience reduced stress by spending time with a dog, but further research is necessary to determine the ideal amount of time required with dogs. Let’s discuss in detail the impact of pet dogs on stress in children.

Benefits of owning a dog for children

Everybody loves a dog. Dogs are cute, friendly, and a great cuddle partner. If you are feeling down or having a bad day, their unconditional love and continuous playful nature bring you back to life. The following are the few benefits of having a dog for children:

  • A round-the-clock ally

Petting and cuddling dogs not only help relax an adult but can have an impact on children. For kids with a tiring day at school, kids feeling sad, or kids being afraid, dogs can be their best friends and great comforter. The most crucial benefit of having a dog as a family member is that it will never let your child grapple with a feeling of loneliness.

  • Teach taking responsibility

Kids who participate in feeding and grooming their dogs or play with dogs have a better sense of responsibility and empathy. Managing pets helps kids learn time management, sharing things, being kind and helpful, and caring for another dependent living being.

  • Dogs keep children active and high in life

Nowadays, more and more children have depression, which is a concerning issue. With the development of the latest technology, video games, and gadgets, children stay idle and develop the habit of long hours sitting and indulging themselves on screen. This sedentary lifestyle makes them prone to many health issues. Dogs spread happiness, play with children and keep them active.  Whenever kids come from outside, the cuddle of dogs when they meet their human companion automatically stimulates happy hormones in your child and lifts their mood.

  • They teach how to care and selflessness

Children prefer themselves over everybody, but living and growing up with pets teach them this essential trait of life; selflessness. Kids learn to care about their dog’s needs, such as nurturing, bathing, walking, and taking them to the veterinarian. Children who have pets quickly learn how to love unconditionally without any expectations.

  • Improves health and immunity

Kids who take care of their companions have comparative better health, as walking and playing with the dogs increase exercise time. The more the children play with dogs, the more they become active and fit. Most of us think owning a pet increases the risk of allergies, but it’s not true. On the contrary, dogs may improve the immunity of kids. Having pets in the home improves kids’ immune systems by exposing them to numerous microbes a dog brings from outside. Therefore, if you are worried about your kid’s weak immunity, have a cute puppy and witness the results.

  • Provide protection

We have heard countless stories of dogs saving kids from dangerous animals, accidents, and intruders. Dogs are guardians taking care of babies at every step.

  • Reduces stress

The most crucial benefit of having a dog as a family member make is your child will always be happy and has reduced stress hormones (cortisol) and improved happy hormones (serotonin and dopamine) levels. Whenever children feel sad or emotionally broken, the dogs can sense this and help children cope.

Bringing a new family member (a pet) at home not only improves mental and emotional development but also can improve your kid’s physical health. Therefore, it may be the right time to have this lovely being as a family member.

Narayana Health

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