Having a Pet Dog Assists in Scaling Down Childhood Anxiety Disorders

Considered to be a dog is a man’s best friend. It is true not only in the abstract terms but the medical terms as well. Having a dog as your pet has several health benefits for adults as well as for children. Where the dog owner adults are found to be more physically active, there is a high reduction in the risk of childhood anxiety in dog owner's kids.

A study conducted amongst *643 children with an average age of 6.7 years shows a clear association between owning a dogs and anxiety was found. Owning a pet dog was related to a nine percent decrease in the probability of Screen for child anxiety disorders i.e. SCARED-5. SCARED-5 is a test used for screening, childhood anxiety disorders. In fact, kids taking part in AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) with dogs improve faster in mental health and the disorders related to development. As a matter of fact, young kids of age 7-8 years find pet dogs as a better confidant than humans and feel more comfortable and self-confident with them.

A human- animal bond may have many benefits. Let us see how this association in people with dogs can help our kids to fight with childhood anxiety:

Pets Assist in Reducing Stress

A pet, when brought into home offers its unconditional love to the depressed and anxious child. To give your child a sense of mastery, you can share a few of your pet related responsibilities with him. Make sure to supervise the child and take proper care of the pet in case the child forgets to do so.

Pet Therapy Effects on Hospitalized Children

A scientific study has proved that the hospitalized children showed the signs of decreased stress while playing with pets. The animals have the capability to reduce the blood pressure of persons, and it ensures an improved, health in kids as well as in adults mental health .

Dogs Help in Increasing Child’s Confidence

Dogs are quite uncomplicated in nature and responsive to the communicative cues provided by humans. This makes them a perfect choice to boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence. According to a study, only 12 % kids with dogs suffered from anxiety as compared to 21% of those without.

Dependence on anti- Anxiety Drugs is Reduced

People, especially veterans having post- traumatic stress disorder gets benefitted to a great extent by dog therapy. Though it is more common in adults, it clearly tells us about the benefits of dogs for restoring the sense of optimism, responsibility, and self- awareness in kids as well. The dependence on anti- anxiety drugs is much reduced in these people with the help of pet dogs.

Dogs Stimulate Conversation

According to research childhood anxiety is automatically reduced in children as the dogs help in stimulating conversation with other people. It causes an ice- breaking effect due to which separation anxiety is reduced. Companionship with a pet dog strengthens attachments and gives the kids confidence to speak up, thus alleviating separation anxiety. It increases oxytocin levels and helps in decreasing the stress response chemical of cortisol.

Dogs Help in Reducing Obesity

A child who has a dog is more likely to go outdoors and play with it. It greatly helps in increasing physical and mental activity along with reducing child obesity. Childhood obesity is one of the major causes of health related problems including stress. A decrease in obesity ensures a lower level of stress in children.

These are many benefits that these canines, with their wagging tails, innocence, love &, eagerness to please have to offer to us. They have the ability to boost the mental and physical health of adults as well as the kids and are of great help if you have a child suffering from childhood anxiety.

The American Kennel Club has outlined the dog breeds that can do well with the children. We have the list for your reference.

Bulldogs : They are known to be friendly, calm, courageous and highly comical. They can prove to be a very apt companion for a child.

Beagle : They are easy going, happy and loving dogs and kids find them to be quite lovable for their nature.

Newfoundland : This breed is super sweet, devoted and patient and is a good choice for kids.

Golden Retriever : Golden retriever are devoted, intelligent and friendly dogs and make a good friend for the humans.

Labrador Retriever : They are quite friendly and outgoing dogs that can play very well with others.

Soft coated Wheaten Terrier : Dogs of this breed are happy, loving and genuinely devoted to their masters.

Weimaraner : These dogs are friendly, obedient, fearless and alert and make an excellent companion for kids.

Bull Terrier : They are loyal, charming, playful and often mischievous. Love to play with kids.

Boxer : They are very active and always ready for fun. Very loyal and good for kids.


Though all dogs are very loyal and devoted to their human family, the ones mentioned above make an excellent companion for children and help them to develop mentally and physically in a better way. The researchers from US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are conducting more research to establish the link between the possession of a dog and reduced childhood anxiety levels. But, if you want for a happy and calm atmosphere at home, bringing a pet dog for your children is undoubtedly an effective way of achieving it.

Don’t think much. Go and get your child’s best friend to your home and enjoy the endless fun!

*Ref: http://www.sciencealert.com/having-a-dog-can-reduce-anxiety-and-stress-in-children-study-finds


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