Owning A Puppy Keeps Kids Out Of Trouble, Study Finds
As we already know too well, humans do not deserve dogs.
They are pure, non-judgemental creatures who calm us when we're stressed, cuddle us when we're sad and bring us endless happiness.
But did you know they're also great for keeping children out of trouble, too?
Yes, according to a new study our furry companions are fantastic for building kids' social skills and boosting their emotional wellbeing while steering them away from bad behaviour.
Children who play with their four-legged friends or take them for walks at least once a week are more likely to have more flourishing social lives and less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour.
The study, completed by University of Western Australia, looked at the emotional wellbeing of over 1,600 kids aged between two and five over three years.
Kids from dog-owning homes were 20 per cent less likely to have emotional problems and 30 per cent less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Researchers also found them to be more considerate and 40 per cent less likely to have problems with making friends.
Study author Associate Professor Hayley Christian, said: "While we expected that dog ownership would provide some benefits for young children's well-being, we were surprised that the mere presence of a family dog was associated with many positive behaviours and emotions."
She continued: "Our findings indicate that dog ownership may benefit children's development and wellbeing and we speculate that this could be attributed to the attachment between children and their dogs.
"Stronger attachments between children and their pets may be reflected in the amount of time spent playing and walking together and this may promote social and emotional development."
Published in the journal Pediatric Research, the study found kids who played with the family pooch two or three times a week were more likely to exhibit "considerate behaviour" like sharing.
We're seriously running out of reasons not to get a dog (or whole litter of them).
But while dogs' benefits know no bounds - as proved by this study - welcoming one into your home is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
Sadly, last year Dogs Trust reported nearly 50,000 dogs were abandoned by their owners in the UK.
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