6 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Be Exposing Your Babies to Dogs Early

exposing baby to dog early

While the idea of a big furry dog approaching your little one can seem ghastly at first, experts suggest otherwise. Early exposure to pets offers a lot of positive benefits that can help your baby adjust better later in his life.

If you’re still not buying the idea, then these 6 benefits of early dog exposure should make you think twice.

dogs cut the risk of developing asthma and allergies in babies

1. It cuts the risk of developing asthma and allergies.

Exposure to pets, particularly during your baby’s first year, decreases his chances of developing allergies later in life. Research suggests that the exposure desensitizes babies which results in a lower frequency of asthma at age 12 to 13 years. (Source)

Children, who were exposed early to pets, also have a lower number of positive skin tests for both indoor and outdoor allergens. One of the most probable reasons for this is that the exposure to dog dander and bacteria triggers a protective immune response in a baby.

dogs provide constant source of companionship and comfort in babies
2. It provides a constant source of companionship and comfort.

Having a dog as a companion enables kids to have an outlet to vent out feelings, whether they’re happy, frightened or sad. The act of cuddling and petting dogs is also good way to relieve stress as it triggers the release of several feel-good hormones. Growing up, kids are less likely to suffer from childhood and separation anxiety.

Dog ownership also helps kids learn how to trust at an early age. Since dogs offer unconditional support, it’s not surprising to find children who can comfortably spill secrets to their pets.

dogs facilitate learning in children
3. It facilitates learning.

Kids find dogs nonjudgmental. Because of how they perceive pets, they are more likely to be more at ease, even when they’re learning. In schools that include pets inside classrooms, children were found to have improved academic performance, less behavioral problems and a higher ability to interact socially. (Source)

dogs keep kids active
4. It keeps kids active.

Having a dog at home nurtures an active lifestyle for your kids. Other than the need to walk or run them a few times a day, dogs also encourage a form of active play. Activities such as throwing toys and playing catch might not seem like a high-level activity, but they should be enough to develop your kids’ young muscles and bones.

dogs teach kids responsibility
5. It teaches responsibility.

Kids, particularly the young ones, can easily view pets as toys. They can get bored playing with them especially when they see something more interesting. However, with proper guidance and teaching, dog ownership can help your child understand the value of life and the commitment it takes to nurture it. Children generally learn from example. They learn to give their pets attention, care and affection from the way their parents take care of them.

dogs create strong bond within the family
6. It creates a strong bond within the family.

Your baby isn’t the only one who can benefit from early exposure to dogs. As a matter of fact, the whole family can benefit from it. When everyone is involved in caring for your pet, such as during bathing, grooming and feeding it, the activities become a family affair. Your child sees the experience as something positive, and he becomes more attached to everyone as well as to the experience.


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