A dog is a man’s best friend, or say the saying goes. In previous years, studies have shown that adults who have dogs live longer, healthier lives. They are typically more active and have less stress than adults who do not own dogs. Studies have also shown that children with dogs have less allergies and asthma as a result of being exposed to allergens at a young age. But a recent study shows that children with dogs have significantly less anxiety than those without a dog at home. Of the 643 children surveyed 58% of them had dogs and only 12% of those had high anxiety levels as opposed to 21% of children having high anxiety levels in the 42% of children without dogs.
Anxiety levels and obesity begin in childhood. When a child has a dog to play with and take care of, they are more active and learn responsibility, but a dog may help a child with emotional development as well. Children form strong, emotional bonds with their dogs. Having a dog may help your child be less shy or help with separation anxiety. Making friends at school could be easier when your child has a dog to talk about and lessen social anxieties. Young children often will talk to their dog and find great comfort in the companionship.
Although the thought of a new puppy may not decrease anxiety levels in parents, studies show that it may be great for your child and their development. If your child is struggling with social and personal anxieties, consider a family dog, After all, a puppy is a kid’s best friend!