boy with his goldendoodle fox creek farm

Are Dogs Good for Children’s Immune Systems & Social Skills?

Dogs and children growing up together have numerous benefits. Dogs and kids have a knack for becoming each other’s best friends. This offers benefits for both the kids and the dogs. For example, it allows for more playtime for the pup, develops social skills for the kiddos, and can prevent allergies in children.

Why Families Should Have a Dog

Dogs offer so much joy to a family that it’s hard to say no to getting a puppy. Dogs require a lot of time, consistency, and money, but they are worth it. If you have a family and young kids, getting a puppy may be precisely what your family needs, especially since dogs are so good for kids.

Dogs offer so many excellent benefits for kids during their stages of growth. For example, dogs help children develop social skills and strengthen their immune systems when exposed to dogs at a young age.

Goldendoodles are also excellent with kids; they are incredibly patient, easygoing, and playful. Many people who have gotten a puppy from Fox Creek Farms write testimonials stating how amazing our puppies are with kids.

Goldendoodles also live an average of 10-18 years, so if you get a Goldendoodle, your kiddos can have a childhood pet to which they may develop a strong attachment. Plus, the dog will support them in more ways than most people would recognize.

mother and child with their dog sitting in the grass

Social Skills

Social skills are a skill we develop throughout our lives, and shockingly dogs can support children in developing these skills. Social skills allow us to communicate with each other both verbally and non-verbally. We can demonstrate social skills by creating friendships, dealing with conflicts, and making people feel comfortable, engaged, and relaxed during social situations.

Social skills are constantly being developed because they can be challenging to master. Social skills can involve acknowledging your own emotions, recognizing emotions in others, and using that information to guide your behavior.

How do dogs help develop social skills?

Dogs help children in more ways than we recognize. Dogs can cheer up anyone just by wagging their little tails, so imagine how much dogs can support kids during the developmental and informative stages of their lives.

  1. Caring for a dog from a young age allows them to be more patient and cooperative. Caring for a dog teaches children responsibility. Dogs require a lot of care, accountability, and attention. So, when children train and care for a pet, they learn patience and take on a lot of responsibility. Caring for a dog isn’t necessarily hard, but it takes time, commitment, and patience. Through the training and caretaking process, children may develop a sense of responsibility toward the puppy’s needs. The experience of helping raise a dog can teach kids to foster an understanding of patience, cooperation, and generosity as they learn to consider the well-being of another living being.
  2. Interacting with a dog and observing its emotions can enhance a child’s ability to empathize. By imagining how a dog feels in different situations, children can learn to empathize with their peers and consider other people’s feelings. This is especially helpful if it’s difficult for a child to understand people’s emotions. This can translate into a better understanding of the feelings of their peers, leading to improved social interactions and relationships.
  3. Dogs offer support for children recovering from trauma. Dogs can provide comfort and emotional support to people, which can be especially helpful for children who have experienced trauma. When kids confide in pets and share their feelings, experiences, and other random information, it can help them process and cope with their emotions. Dogs offer a non-judgmental and comforting presence, which can be particularly beneficial for children who feel judged when expressing their feelings to humans. This emotional outlet can contribute to the healing process for children recovering from trauma.
  4. Dogs may offer children the opportunity for increased self-esteem. Dogs provide companionship, unconditional love, and a judgment-free zone, which can positively impact a child’s self-esteem. Many therapy dogs spend time with children because of their ability to not only cheer them up when they’re in difficult situations but also because they can increase their self-esteem. Additionally, the responsibilities of caring for a dog, such as crate training, leash work, potty training, socialization, and making time to play with them, can contribute to a child’s sense of accomplishment, further enhancing their self-esteem.
  5. Dogs can support children with special needs. Children with learning disabilities, ADHD, or special needs may act calmer around animals. This is because dogs are gentle, tolerant, and patient, allowing the child to feel at ease. Children with special needs can have difficulty interacting with others and expressing empathy, but a dog’s presence can assist with these behaviors.

young girl with her standard goldendoodle

How do dogs help the immune system?

It may be surprising to learn that having a dog during childhood can reduce one’s frequency of sickness later in life.

  1. Children who grow up with a dog have less risk of developing allergies. Several studies showed that early exposure to dogs, specifically during the first year of life, can reduce the risk of developing allergies. This may be because early exposure to the allergens in a dog’s dander, dead skin cells, and saliva can help the child’s immune system tolerate these substances. Exposure to these allergies and developing a tolerance to these substances can lower the likelihood of developing allergies.
  2. Kids who own dogs may experience fewer sick days. Having a dog can allow children to exercise and play more frequently. Dogs require regular physical activity, such as walks or playtime, which encourages kids and their families to engage in regular exercise and playtime. Regular exercise throughout childhood can strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. Additionally, studies have shown that children who grow up with dogs have a reduced risk of respiratory tract infections and ear infections, potentially because exposure to animals at a young age stimulates the immune system.

There are so many benefits of growing up with a pet. Specifically, they benefit a child’s social skills and immune system development. Dogs and children can build a fantastic bond, prompting them to spend time together playing, cuddling, and training. Additionally, kids benefit dogs by providing them with attention that stimulates them instead of allowing them to be bored. Choosing a family-friendly dog can be challenging, but if you’ve been debating whether or not to get a family pet, getting a Goldendoodle might be for you!