Of the 300 military children surveyed, 70% confirmed they have a family pet, and that they were actively involved in taking care of it, according to a study conducted by Tufts University. Having a military parent who is away for extended periods is hard for kids. Children with deep attachments to pets cope better with these challenges than those without pets, as noted in a report on Science Daily. Dogs are affectionate and loyal animals that are known to have a positive impact on the lives of children. They offer security, friendship and entertainment, and every kid dreams of having one.
A dog is good for the mind and soul
By being an attentive and non-judgemental listener, a dog can motivate a kid to read more and develop an interest in books. The study by Tufts University found that 2nd graders who read aloud to their dog for at least 30 minutes a week had a greater reading ability than those who did not. Frequent relocation is a reality for many military families, and it potentially exposes kids to loneliness. In such a case, a dog can provide support, mental stability, and comfort. Practically, walking and playing with a dog outdoors will facilitate social introductions and get your kid acquainted with new friends. Being actively involved in all aspects of training your dog, from familiarizing them with new locations to teaching them how to enjoy new toys to use when they’re left alone, will strengthen their bond and give your child security.
A dog offers the much-needed security
A dog is loyal and will stay by the side of your kid and protect them when you are not around. For instance, it may keep bullies away and prevent children from fighting in the neighborhood. “You could train your dog to alert you of menacing allergens within your homestead when you come home,” Paul Waggoner, a scientist at Canine Detection Research Institute told the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, dogs are known to complement security alarms, which adds to your family’s overall safety. Besides, having a security dog will give you peace of mind while at work, increasing your focus and productivity. If you wish to capitalize on security, go for larger breeds that are well known for this. They include the German Shepherd, Akita, Bullmastiff, Dobermann Pinscher, and the Great Pyrenees.
Though it can never replace your presence as a parent, a dog can offer an array of benefits for your military kid. “Among others advantages, a dog will help to nurture resilience and important developmental traits,” said Megan Mueller, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at Tufts University. When you are ready to acquire a pet for your child, adopt one from the local shelter instead of buying. By doing so, you will be teaching your child an extra lesson about compassion and saving lives.