Dogs are known to have an important role in the lives of children in their families. Kids with dogs are thought responsibility while always having a playmate and someone to hug when distressed. A recent research shows that the benefits of having a dog in the family can be even bigger.
A survey done in Australia examined the benefits of dog ownership for preschoolers. They found that children as young as 2-years-old can have social-emotional benefits from this relationship.
“Our findings showed that young children who walked or played with their family dog more were more likely to have pro-social behaviours such as sharing and cooperating,” said Hayley Christian, a senior research fellow with the Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia for This Dog’s Life.
The researchers surveyed parents of preschoolers, asking many different questions about physical activity and social-emotional development. The results show that preschoolers who played with dogs a few times per week and went on family walks with them at least once a week appear to be pro-social. There’s a 30 percent less chance for them to have problems with peers compared to kids without a dog.