How Dogs Can Benefit Children

Thinking of getting a dog? You know your child wants a dog to play with but did you know that the love and companionship of a dog can have long lasting effects going far beyond their ability to entertain and amuse?

The current research into dog assisted therapy has turned the humble pet dog into an emotional, educational and physical resource. Everything from autism to reading ability has been tested with the use of therapy dogs. Excellent programs exist that have demonstrated a link between the interaction with dogs and improved social and reading skills.

It makes sense that even healthy children may experience benefits from owning a dog. What are some ways dogs affect children emotionally, socially and physically?

Can Your Dog Teach Your Child to Read?

A program was started that introduced the concept of children reading to dogs. The idea was that the child would be calmed by the presence of the dog as well as stimulated by the contact without the pressures of reading to a teacher or a peer.

The children loved the experience and the program creators noted that reading skills, including stuttering, improved. While not all reading problems can be corrected with a dog