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Why having a dog can help your whole family

Why having a dog can help your whole family

Wednesday 26th August is International Dog Day, but really, we think they’re deserving of celebration every day! Dogs make our lives better and adding one to your family can benefit every member – and here’s why.

Australians are adopting pets in record numbers lately, largely due to our increased time being spent at home. Dog adoptions are up a whopping 45% compared to last year which means more people than ever before are experiencing the joys and lessons that come with owning a dog. 

The bonds between humans and animals are so powerful. And the positive correlation between pets and mental and physical health is undeniable. From young children who are learning about empathy and kindness to our seniors who can stave off loneliness with the most loyal of friends, to keeping us fit.

Amidst the joy and excitement don’t forget the practical. Insuring a pet can be expensive so make sure you check out our Pet Lovers Pack, which can simply be added on to your Home Insurance policy for a small additional monthly cost.

And just in case you are thinking about getting a dog, here are some reasons we think it’s a great idea. 

Improves your mood

Dogs are loyal and totally loving. On days when it can be difficult to love yourself, a pet dog can be your own mini cheerleader. Dogs care deeply about the happiness of their human pack and having one in your family can be an instant mood booster. They reduce loneliness and provide unwavering companionship which can be particularly valuable for a grandparent living on their own or even a teenager navigating the awkward years. 

From aging grandparents to young children, spending time peacefully petting a dog has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and make us feel calmer. They are always so thankful for your company and let’s face it, we’re thankful for theirs.

Increases physical activity

Dogs need to be walked at least once a day. When you exercise your dog, guess what? You get exercise too. It’s a good and fun way to make sure you’re getting a daily dose of physical activity. Walking a family dog gets children away from their screens and out in the fresh air. Moderate exercise is good for our physical health but also our wellbeing as it increases dopamine, the mood-boosting hormone.

Improves emotional intelligence

Having a dog as part of the family helps teach children important life lessons. Pets help grow our emotional intelligence. Puppies in particular need patience as they learn about the world around them. They often have toilet accidents, pull on their leash, chew things and just as the puppy is learning about the world around him, the children in your family can learn what it means to be patient. Puppies never mean harm and it’s important to be calm with them and persevere with their training.  

Caring for a pet teaches children how to focus on others and their emotional needs. It shows them how to read non-verbal cues, because dogs communicate entirely non-verbally. Is the dog happy? Do they want you to give them space? Do they want to go outside? Because animals can’t tell you with their words, children need to learn to understand their body language. Dogs can also help young people to express their emotions. Pets are often used in therapy and rehabilitation because talking to animals makes us feel better. Children can share their troubles with their pet dog who will never judge them and will always show them unconditional love. 

Helps teach responsibility

Dogs need to be cared for as they can’t survive without human help. They need to be fed, walked daily and regularly bathed and groomed. Having a dog in your family can help teach children about responsibility as this living creature relies on them. There are many age-appropriate tasks they can help with. Older children can help by regularly walking the dog and even young children can regularly put a scoop of food in their dog’s bowl. It’s also important that the adults in the house are setting a good example and are prepared to step in, with patience, if a child’s commitment wavers. When you bring a dog into your home it must always be done with the understanding that it will be a long term responsibility for the whole family.

So, if you’re one of lucky ones to be a dog owner make sure you check out the Pet Lovers Pack. This will insure:

  • Veterinary costs for your cats and dogs if they’re hurt in an accident (up to $2,000)
  • Boarding costs for your cats and dogs if they can’t live in your home due to a listed event
  • Damage to your home and contents caused by your cats and dog

Check out the Product Disclosure Statement for more details.

With all the incredible affection, loyalty and protection they show us, is it any wonder we call dogs “man’s best friend”.  It is common to hear stories of people after rescuing a dog from an animal shelter later saying that actually it was the dog that rescued them. 

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