Many of us have pets as children, but few realise the fantastic benefits that being around a dog can have. In some areas, it’s common to find dogs in schools so that even children without a pet can benefit from being around an animal. Whether you are looking at getting a pet at home or thinking about canine assisted learning in the school where you work, here are some benefits for the children in your care.
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Dogs Offer a Source of Comfort
One of the most significant benefits that children who work with dogs from the dog mentor experience is comfort. Many children, especially older children, find it hard to ask for comfort when needed, and some are uncomfortable seeking comfort from adults like teachers. Dogs are a fantastic source of comfort that you never have to ask for or seek out. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at The Dog Mentor.
While parents, friends and teachers offer children emotional support, it can be hard to know when children need it, and children can fear judgment from adults. A dog provides emotional support without judgement and will always offer the same support and comfort, no matter what.
Not everyone is excellent at making friends, and even those who are could always do with more. The friendship of a dog is unwavering, and it’s certainly a relationship that goes both ways.
A dog can also help children to make friends, giving them something in common and a way to break the ice.
An Animal Can Teach Skills and Life Lessons
Animals can also teach practical skills. Our children learn to feed, clean and generally care for them, but they also learn how to be responsible for another life. Putting the dog’s needs first can help teach empathy, independence, and organisation.
Not all children love sports and exercise, and nowadays, many parents feel they are always trying to drag their children away from their screens and devices.
Dogs need walking and playing with to stay fit and active. This gives children a different way to exercise, helping to get them outdoors and away from screens.
Confidence is important for a child’s development, but it can be hard to build unless a child shines at sports or academically.
Looking after a dog can be a fun and effective way to build lasting confidence and self-esteem, benefiting children in all areas of life.
Some children struggle with behaviour because they are frustrated or bored. Caring for an animal, even part-time, can be an outlet for their frustration and something else to think about. Many parents and teachers report improved behaviour when these frustrated children are around animals.
Boost Reading Ability and Enjoyment
Some children love to read; others find it hard to sit still long enough to get engrossed in a book, which can limit their ability to learn or enjoy reading. Being around an animal is calming, which can help them to relax enough to enjoy reading or listening to stories. This can make a big difference to their education.
Having a dog at home or school can help a child develop physically, emotionally, and academically, giving them a great start in life and a forever friend.