In recent years, a kid asking for a dog has become a common plot point in entertainment. In many cases, the parent will tell the child needs to get some experience taking care of another pet first, like a fish or a hamster. Then some debacle occurs, and the child is either rewarded with a dog, or the subject is never brought up again. This has started to portray dogs as being a difficult pet to care for. Well, we’re here to change that opinion!
If your child is looking to get a pet, we’d recommend a rescue dog as their first pet for a number of reasons. Here’s why!
How a Child Can Benefit From a Dog
Before we get into why you should be adopting and not shopping, we want to highlight all the ways that a child will benefit from having a dog. The list is really endless, but here are all the best reasons to get your kids a dog.
Dogs Bring Higher Self-Esteem
Dogs bring a lot of tasks along with them, that’s for sure. Many of these tasks are very easy to accomplish, and by accomplishing them, kids can begin to build their self-esteem from an early age.
Feeding the dog only requires the use of a measuring cup and some aim. The benefit? You get to see your furry best friend indulge in one of their favorite things: food. Tasks should be age-appropriate, of course, but there are plenty to choose from.
Dogs Bring Higher Cognitive Ability
Kids who are given dogs at a young age tend to show higher cognitive ability. This is largely in part due to their willingness to communicate with the pet. The stimulation that a dog can bring to a child’s life can help them develop faster and in a more sophisticated way.
Dogs Bring Empathy
Learning to care about another living thing at a young age leads to a more compassionate life. Kids and parents share the responsibilities associated with caring for a dog. This leads to children learning to care for something that depends on them from an earlier age, which creates empathy.
Dogs Bring Better Health
Owning a dog naturally leads to a more active lifestyle! They need to be played with, taken outside, and taken for walks. Plus, doing something with your dog is always a lot more fun than doing it by yourself, even if that’s just going outside and wandering around the backyard. Dogs lead to healthier lifestyles.
Dogs Bring a Support System
Kids talk to dogs when they feel like they can’t talk to anyone else. They tell them their problems, and they feel loved by their pooches no matter what. Research shows that kids who grow up with dogs feel more supported than kids who don’t.
With all of these benefits, it only makes sense to adopt a dog as a kid’s first pet. They provide a loving companion for years to come. Dogs are definitely the way to go!
Making the Case For Adopting, Not Shopping
If you’re considering getting your children a dog after reading all of the benefits that it will bring, then you really should be looking for a dog at rescues. Rescue dogs, or shelter dogs, are pups that need your help. They’ll benefit from adoption just as much as you and your family will.
Check out all of these reasons to adopt a pooch rather than purchase one:
Adopting a Dog Saves a Life
This is perhaps the best reason to adopt a dog. Yes, there are no-kill shelters, and there are plenty of adoption agencies for pooches, but even rescuing a dog from a no-kill shelter saves its life. Canines are animals that thrive in a loving pack, and they need a good family to truly feel happy.
Additionally, when you adopt from a shelter, you’re making room for another dog that may need a temporary home and rehabilitation area. Adopting a dog keeps the cycle of saving dogs on a roll.
Rescues Come With a Whole Lot of Love
That’s not to say that bred dogs don’t, by any means. However, rescues seem to show their gratitude by showering their new family with love for the rest of their lives. They appreciate being in a home with people who love them, and they’re sure to communicate that with everyone. Some rescues may have some trust issues to begin with, but once a bond is forged, it surely can’t be broken.
They’re Highly Loyal and Great Watchdogs
Shelter dogs have a reputation of becoming very loyal to their new families, and they take on protective roles. They’ll alert you to anything strange going on, and they’ll make sure that you’re kept safe. This isn’t to say that they’re overprotective, but that they keep the family in mind and love to keep them informed and safe.
Rescue Dogs Come with Some Training
In many cases, you’ll be adopting an adult dog rather than a puppy from a shelter. This means that they’ll come with some good behaviors and training already. A lot of the time, they’re already housebroken. Potty training a puppy can be quite the task; being able to skip over that is a great benefit.
You’ll also find that many shelters put a lot of effort into making sure that their dogs are up to date on their leash manners. They’ll leash them and walk them to help them keep any sort of leash training that they had prior to being put up for adoption.
Rescues Are Up to Date on Shots and Checkups
When you adopt a dog through a rescue or a shelter, you’re going to be adopting a pup that has all of their shots. They’ll also come with a medical background from the shelter alerting you to anything that they may have experienced. This can help save on vaccination costs and any medical issues that you might face when choosing to purchase a dog.
You’ll Be Helping the Fight Against Puppy Mills
Purchasing a dog from a puppy mill is irresponsible and can be avoided entirely by adopting a dog instead. Puppy mills are mass breeding facilities that are normally cruel towards the dogs that they are breeding and birthing.
Dogs in puppy mills may be subjected to physical and mental abuse through the form of isolation or worse. When you adopt a rescue, you help reduce the viability of puppy mills, which in turn contributes to them shutting down. Rescuing a dog is far more ethical.
Your Dog Will Be Healthier Overall
Many rescue dogs aren’t purebred. That’s entirely okay! In fact, it’s better than okay. Dogs that have parents of different breeds tend to take on the best qualities of both parents. This helps to avoid any genetic health issues that you may see in a purebred due to poor breeding practices.
Through the practice of breeding dogs for their breed alone, many puppies have been born with a plethora of issues. This can lead to issues physically and neurologically. When you adopt rather than shop, you can avoid this. This means that the dog you’ll end up with will likely be healthier and will face fewer issues as they age.
Getting To Know Rescues Is Fun and Rewarding
One of the best reasons to consider a rescue is to get the chance to get to know them before adopting them. This can be done in a number of ways. Of course, the shelter or organization will have information about the dog, but you’ll also get the chance to visit the shelter and all of the dogs and spend time with them. What if we told you that you could do that on a bigger scale, though?
When considering adopting a dog, a good way to try on the responsibilities of dog ownership is by volunteering at the shelter that you may be adopting from. This lets you get used to the routine of owning a dog (it can be a big lifestyle change).
On top of that, though, it lets you get to know the dogs on a more intimate basis and help out a good cause. Rescues come with all sorts of satisfaction, including the satisfaction of making a difference in these animal’s lives.
Take Your Kid To Meet Some Dogs!
By now, you’re totally convinced that rescuing a dog is the right thing to do and that a dog is the best pet for your children. That being said, be sure to take your child to the shelter closest to you and visit some dogs! It’ll make your child’s day, it’ll make some rescues happy, and you may end up coming home with a new best friend! You can thank us later.
The Many Ways Kids Benefit from Having a Dog | American Kennel Club
19 Reasons Rescue Dogs Make Better Pets | Slideshow | The Active Times
10 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Dog | ASPCA
Childhood Attachment to Pets: Associations between Pet Attachment, Attitudes to Animals, Compassion, and Humane Behaviour | US National Library of Medicine