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4 Reasons to Say Yes to a Family Dog (Even After You Said No)

If your kids have been hounding you for a precious pooch to call their own, you might want to rethink your “nay” and start considering how a dog might benefit your family. According to Organic Authority, several studies have indicated that adding a furry friend to your family can have a positive impact on everything from your child’s speech to their overall physical health. Good dog, indeed!

But the benefits of dog ownership keep coming. Improved social interactions? Check. Increased exercise? And then some! Sure, a dog means added time, energy, and expense, but adding a pup to your home environment can enhance your daily family life, and grow your child’s personal sense of responsibility — especially if they’re held accountable for feeding and walking their four-legged bestie.

Still unconvinced of Fido’s favorable powers? Click through for all of the pooch-related benefits.

Your Family’s Health
It’s true that owning a dog can have positive effects on your health. For one, research has shown that dogs can increase your lifespan, decrease your blood pressure, and lower your cholesterol. Of course, we can’t speak for those high-stress moments when Spot has decided to snack on your Loubies — but overall, studies have indicated that owning a dog equals good health.

Increased Exercise
When you have a pooch, you’ll certainly get your exercise — every day. Chances are (unless you have a fenced-in yard) you’ll be walking your dog three to four times per day. Make it a nightly family ritual to walk the dog together each night after dinner.

Improved Reading Skills
Michael Amiri, co-author of Shellie, the Magical Dog, told bloggers at Time Out for Mom that “Dogs not only help children learn to read, they help children learn to love reading.” Amiri notes that a canine BFF can help boost confidence in young readers and also turn them into polite listeners. Furthermore, Minnesota-based PAWSitive Readers found that trained therapy dogs helped several grade-school participants better their reading by one grade level!

Social Interactions
If you’re feeling lonely or have a child who doesn’t make friends easily, a pup can aide in encouraging more social interactions. Take little Lassie out to a dog park and chat with all the other owners — we’ve even heard some families will set up playdates for their dogs.

Sources: Organic Authority, Time Out for Mom

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04.9.2013 / 05:23 AM EDT by Lauren Mang
Related: Moms

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