If you have ever seen children with additional needs, whether they have ADHD, a learning disability or a behavior issue, you may notice that he or she is calmer or connected around pets, especially dogs. Many people, especially children, living with autism, ADHD, or other learning or behavioral complications, are sometimes better able to interact with dogs rather than people. In fact, autistic children who frequently depend on non- verbal cues, effectively interact well with animals, and sometimes better than with people.
Growing up, one of my siblings, a sister just a few years younger, was diagnosed with both special needs and a bipolar disorder. Although times were very difficult for her, she was at her happiest and calmest moments when our pets dogs were at her side. Also, when she felt stressed with life, it was our pet dogs who was able to keep her calm and happy throughout her life. So when she was calm and happy, all members of our family became calm and happy. So from firsthand experience, this article is written for those families with children with special needs, and how owning a dog could be extra beneficial for them.
Here are 5 benefits of dogs on children with special needs:
Having a dog can teach a child with special needs how to plan ahead and make a schedule. Since dogs have to be fed and walked, a dog will teach a child how to adapt to his or her own schedule and their pet dog’s schedule. This will teach the child time management and how managing time and scheduling make life easier. Furthermore, the special needs child will also learn to be responsible.
2. Positive Mindset
Having a dog is usually in an upbeat mood. This upbeat mood will usually transfer to the special needs child, and thus develop a positive mindset. At the end of the day, life may be stressful or frustrating for the special needs child, but if he or she is surrounded by a dog with an upbeat mood, the special needs child will be upbeat tackling life’s difficult situations. As the saying goes, “ A positive mindset can not be denied.”
3. Anti- Stress
Let’s face it, living life can be stressful. But for a special needs child living with a pet dog, life can be less stressful because dogs can encourage kids with special needs how to be calm and control stress. When a dog acts goofy and playful, the special needs child will forget about the stress and frustrations in his or her life. And when the special needs child is watching TV with his or her dog, the feeling of having “ your buddy” there is very comforting and uplifting.
4. Interacting with People Better
As a special needs child learns to connect with his or her pet dog, this connection will help them with the confidence to face people. Researchers have found that children with special needs are more confident facing and talking with people versus special needs children growing up with no pets.
5. The Pet Will Always Be There
Growing up, while some family members may leave the household for a variety of reasons someday – it could be a family member moving out for college, or getting married, but one family member that will not be leaving is the family pet. For the special needs child, a family pet provides the stability he or she needs during tough times in life, and knowing his or her pet will always be there will cause less anxiety.
However, while owning a dog may have great benefits for children with special needs, owning a dog is a big responsibility. Although you may never use it, it is best for a family dog to be insured with major medical pet insurance. So in case the dog may get sick or injured, pet insurance will be there to protect you and your pet. This way your entire family can rest easy and have peace of mind. I suggest you check out and read the pet insurance reviews at www.theinsuredpet.com. Whether you are a pet owner searching for pet insurance in New York or nationwide, TheInsuredPet.com will have the right pet insurance plan that fits what you are looking for.
Lastly, owning a dog, especially if you have a special needs child has great benefits. If you have a special needs child at home, hopefully reading this article will encourage you to get one for the entire family.