Would get­ting a dog ben­e­fit my kids?

EatingWell - - FRESH -

Short an­swer: Yes. There’s good ev­i­dence that pets can have pow­er­ful perks for kids, be­yond just teach­ing them re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Men­tal Health: Just pet­ting a dog for 5 min­utes changes the bi­ol­ogy of the brain and re­duces stress hor­mones like cor­ti­sol. The most re­search has been done in chil­dren with pro­nounced be­hav­ioral con­di­tions, like autism, where ther­apy with dogs has been shown to im­prove the neu­ro­log­i­cal path­ways in the brain, re­sult­ing in bet­ter emo­tional and so­cial out­comes.

Phys­i­cal Health: Re­search con­sis­tently shows that dogs mo­ti­vate kids to be more ac­tive. In one study, chil­dren with a fam­ily dog got more than two hours of ex­tra ex­er­cise a week than those with­out. An­other way pets im­prove your kids’ health: re­search has shown that hav­ing a furry friend (cats too!) early in life may pro­tect against asthma and al­ler­gies.

Ed­u­ca­tion: Tufts Univer­sity has done three stud­ies where strug­gling ele­men­tary school chil­dren read to a dog, a hu­man or out loud to them­selves. The kids who read to Fido had im­proved en­gage­ment and at­ti­tudes to­ward read­ing com­pared to the other groups. Why? The non­judg­men­tal ca­nines ap­pear to al­le­vi­ate the anx­i­ety that can come from read­ing aloud. Deb­o­rah E. Lin­der, D.V.M., M.S., D.A.C.V.N., Tufts In­sti­tute for Hu­man-an­i­mal In­ter­ac­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.