There is an undeniable connection between children and dogs. After all, it is hard to resist their happy tail wags, soft fur or hair, and super sweet snuggles. But, did you know that adopting a dog with children in the home can improve your child’s health, school performance, and social skills? If you are thinking about adopting a canine buddy for your child, take a closer look at these top five reasons bringing home a rescued dog is a smart decision!

Dogs Give The Best Hugs & Snuggles!
The most obvious reason children love having dogs around is they give the best hugs and snuggles, often with no designated end time. This means a child who craves more social contact will always have a happy friend to sit beside, play with, or pet. Where people move on to other activities, most dogs are perfectly content with staying by the side of the person offering the most attention and praise. By adopting a dog from a reputable nonprofit organization like Sophie’s Circle, you can have the opportunity to learn more about the dog you select by reading informative notes written by loving foster caregivers. If your child is feeling blue or simply enjoys a good cuddle during family movie night at home, then a low-key rescue who likes to stay close to attention-giving humans is the perfect choice for lifting your child’s mood and buiding a lifelong friendship.

Dogs are a Calming Influence for Anxiety
Does your child have a lot of anxiety? Since dogs have been shown to reduce stress in humans, adopting a calmer dog may be a healthy next step in treating your child’s anxiety. Dogs can relieve stress by requiring exercise which releases endorphines with at least two walks per day. Getting that energy out while walking with a dog also requires focus on the dog’s care needs to keep him safe from cars or pulling too hard on the leash, which leaves less time to dwell on the anxiety triggers. When it comes to things that go bump in the night, dogs also act as valient proctectors with their sharp eyes, excellent hearing, and keen sense of smell. Moreover, dogs make excellent secret keepers! Talking about one’s challenges and frustrations with a good listener can often help children and adults alike feel better about the situation causing the anxiety.

Dogs Make the Best Academic Partners!
Sometimes, the anxiety is related to school work, such as reading or presentation skills. The good news is a little extra practice can remove some of this anxiety and replace it with a higher degree of self-confidence. That said, who wants to practice alone? A dog that is trained to sit and stay, however, can listen to a child read a book or speak about a project for as lit takes to feel confident. No negative criticism will be uttered and completed tasks can be rewarded with a happy tail wag and playtime outside! In other words, dogs encourage more reading time without judgment and less screen time when play, training, or walk time arrives.

Dogs Teach Children How to Care for Others
The benefits of adopting extend to those your child encounters outside of the home as well because your child will learn how dogs have care needs that must be met. Although children require help from parents when caring for a dog, there are many learning lessons about caregiving they can receive while walking, feeding, training, rewarding, and playing with their dog. Such lessons continue when the dog is ill and requires medication as well as while the dog ages and slows down.

Dogs are Always Ready for Play
No matter the age of the dog, one thing is for sure – dogs love to live life to the fullest and spend time with their humans! This means children are never lonely because they always have a buddy ready to run around outside, playing a game of hide-n-seek or fetch, and dancing in the sprinkler. Finally, parents have a healthy response for “What can I do? I’m so bored!”

Where to Find a Rescue to Adopt in the Volusia County Area
If you are ready to find the right dog for your family and you are in the Volusia County, Florida area, browse our list of adorable furry friends on our adoption age. By adopting from Sophie’s Circle, you are not only rescuing the dog you bring home, but you are also helping to keep dogs within our community with their families who cannot afford expenses such as dog food. This is because Sophie’s Circle is the only dog food pantry in the area and we are on a mission to both find homes for surrendered dogs and do our part to keep dogs with their families who have fallen on hard times. Join us in these efforts by adopting one of our loveable dogs and donating to our dog food pantry. Together, we can make sure all dogs are able to live in loving homes.