Our dog was our baby before we had kids. We knew we wanted children, so we considered that when deciding what type of dog would be best for our family. We agreed on a pug because they are low maintenance and great with kids. Plus, what’s cuter than a pug puppy? Our dog took a back seat once we had our first baby, but having a dog has been one of the best things we have provided for our kids. She was our kids’ first friend, and she got the first real belly laugh out of our daughter, a moment I’ll never forget. As much work as dogs can be, especially when they are puppies, there are plenty of reasons why they are worth it.

1. Friendship

A dog is a friend that is available for your kids to play with at any time. They are always willing to run around, chase, and play tug of war. They have more energy than you at the end of a long day, and they love attention.

2. Health

Dogs help keep us healthy. They require walks every day (some more than others), so we get much needed fresh air and exercise. Plus, studies have shown that children who live with dogs during their first year of life have better immune systems and a decreased risk of developing asthma.

3. Responsibility

Kids learn how to help take care of another living creature. They can help feed, wash, brush, and walk the dog. Dogs require a lot more responsibility than a fish, and kids can feel like an essential member of the family who their dog depends on.

4. Literacy support

Kids who read often have better academic success overall. The more they read, the better they become at reading. Between sports, playdates, homework, etc., it may be challenging to find time to sit and listen to your kids read as much as you’d like to. Your dog is always a willing listener, and he/she is usually free while you’re making dinner. Another bonus is that your dog won’t judge your struggling reader, so the pressure is off, and your child can enjoy reading while your dog gets extra attention.

5. Comfort and love

Finally, and most important in my eyes, is a dog’s ability to provide comfort and unconditional love. Dogs are ALWAYS happy to see you. They will listen and console without judgment. The simple act of petting a dog brings a sense of calm and helps relieve anxiety. Who doesn’t need more love, comfort, and stress relief in their lives?

And there are many more reasons why growing up with a dog is the best! Getting a dog is not a light decision, and it is a big commitment. I recommend taking a lot of time and doing your research to find the right fit, because they truly become a member of the family.

Ranessa Doucet
Ranessa is a Boston native who grew up in Charlestown and never gets tired of exploring the city. She now lives north of Boston with her husband, two kids, and two mischievous pugs. Ranessa earned her master’s degree in elementary education and licensure in early childhood education. She currently works as an Academic Interventionist and Freelance Writer. Ranessa loves writing about parenting tweens, exploring New England, health, and self-care. When not writing or reading, you can find her watching reality TV, eating chocolate, attending her kids’ sporting events, and dreaming about the beach.


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