I have two big, crazy, rambunctious, but very lovable fur babies. I was a little unsure how they would react when we added a human baby to the mix. Of course they love her, she loves them, and I’m constantly amazed with both dogs’ patience when our daughter is pulling their tails, poking their eyes, and stealing their favourite toys. Yes, I have moments when it feels like too much and I could use a third or fourth arm. Like when I’m struggling to get two excited dogs on a leash, and a toddler who I’m resisting the urge to put on a leash, out for a walk on my own. But for the most part, I couldn’t be happier to be raising our kid alongside her two furry best friends. Here are five pretty great reasons to raise your kids around dogs.
They always have a friend
At the age of two, my daughter throws the ball for the dogs (a very short and underwhelming distance), includes them in her tea parties, and can run for hours around the house or backyard with them. She has tried (and failed) to dress them up, cuddles with them in their dog beds, and talks to them maybe more than she talks to humans. I can only imagine how much their bond will strengthen as she gets older. It seriously melts my heart.
Dogs encourage a more active lifestyle
Did I mention how much I love/hate walking two dogs and a toddler? Even though our daily jaunt usually takes every last ounce of patience (and arm strength) I have, I know it’s good for all of us. I get my kid moving and out for fresh air every day – no matter what the weather, or her mood, is like.
Helps to teach responsibility
We’re still learning that the dogs don’t need to be fed fifty time a day, and sadly, toddlers aren’t quite mentally or physically ready to help pick up poop. But once she’s a little older, there’s a lot of lessons about responsibility to be learned. She will be actively involved in all the not so fun parts of dog ownership. I’m talking about the feeding, the watering, the brushing, the walking when you don’t feel like it, and the mind-boggling amount of poop two large dogs can produce.
Seriously strengthens their immune system
For real! Studies suggest that children raised around pets have a decreased risk of asthma and certain allergies. Research also shows that a baby’s immune system gets a boost from being exposed to all of the dust, dirt, and slobber involved when you’re sharing a house with a dog.
It’s an emotional roller coaster – in a good way!
There’s the uncontrollable giggles when the dogs are giving her a good face licking. The immediate rage when one of them steals a snack from her hand. And the devastating tears when they have to get a shot at the vet and she’s sad for them. Our daughter is learning empathy from our two goofy dogs and it’s pretty cool to watch.
My dogs are awesome. My kid is awesome. But together? They’re amazing.