Why Every Family Needs A Dog

I won’t lie to you. I am definitely one of those people who was obsessed with my pets … until the minute I brought my daughter home from the hospital. Now they serve as mostly a drain on my patience and finances. Don’t worry though, I’m sure when I enter the teenage phase of parenthood, I will go right back to being a crazy dog lady.

Even with the unwelcome crotch-diving and constant shedding, our two dogs still offer a few kid-related benefits (outside of the occasional adorable companion thing) that exceed their shortcomings.

Living Vacuums: Our dinner routine goes like this: Dogs go outside. Put baby in high chair. Baby eats approximately 1/8th of what we make for her. Throws about half on the floor. Once we’ve moved on to the bath time routine tantrum, the beasts are let back inside to lick the floor/high chair to a high gloss.

Science Class: What happens when the dog eats all the crayons? (Spoiler alert: rainbow poo.) Let’s learn if tomato sauce really does get rid of skunk smell, shall we?

Security System: Did a tree branch snap in Hutto? A mouse step on a leaf in Buda? If so, my village idiots will let everyone in a 4-mile radius know that they’ve heard the ruckus and are on high alert. A talent loved by neighbors and sleeping babies alike.

Allergies: I’m pretty sure there are studies out there saying that growing up with pets builds a stronger immune system for kiddos. You know, kind of similar to when your baby turns six months old and you shove a spoonful of peanut butter in his or her mouth every so often, dial 9-1-1 and hover your thumb over the call button? Just me? Cool.

Daily Cause and Effect Lessons: Drop your puffs, lose your puffs. Stand in the path of a 92-pound Labrador, get knocked over.

Entertainment: Look at Spot run for the ball! See how he scratches his ears! Oh, now he’s chasing eating a bug! Maybe he WILL catch the squirrel this time! This is all brand new information!

Caregiver Status: We make the routine tasks of feeding/bathing/medicating the dogs a big deal to our daughter. We include her in the process daily. You might think this is me creating a teachable moment but it’s more of me creating a transferrable skill. The sooner she can be trusted to keep them alive, the better.

I’m sure all of you out there who prioritized training your animals to be productive members of the household have even better benefits. Share away!


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