The invaluable gifts from a dog to a child

By Bravecto

Children and dogs are made to go together like ice cream and chocolate topping. The life lessons little people can learn from pet ownership are many and varied but your dog will also enjoy the rewards from this beautiful relationship.

While some families may get dogs for security reasons, many owners recognise that a pet becomes another family member. With this comes all of the joys of a playmate, companion, and snuggle buddy.

Very often a child’s first friend is the family dog. More often than not, the feeling is reciprocated with the dog being completely in awe of the child. A match made in heaven? Quite possibly.

A recent survey conducted by paralysis tick and flea treatment, Bravecto, discovered the main benefits that dogs provide Aussie children with are companionship (73%), an emotional bond (67%), fun (66%) and learning responsibility (61%)1.

Learning about responsibility at an early age is a great stepping stone for later life. Understanding about when and how to touch an animal, plus how to tend to their needs, will help teach respect. The essential art of compassion can be nurtured through pet ownership as being kind and caring for a dog offers many priceless gifts along the way.

These lessons are absorbed so naturally for a child. The unconditional love of a dog inspires a child to behave with love back, to spend hours with their furry friend telling secrets, imagining games and simply reveling in being together.

As a parent, the wellbeing and happiness of your family is always your greatest concern.  If everyone is healthy and content, then you can just relax and enjoy the best bits that parenting offers. When your family includes a four-legged, waggy-tailed family member, naturally you want what is best for them also.

Your dog is often your child’s first “best-friend” so it makes sense that you want them to be not only happy and healthy, but to stay with the family for as long as possible. Losing a beloved pet can be a terrible loss for the entire family.

One of the biggest risks to your furry little mate is the paralysis tick. Paralysis ticks are the single most dangerous parasite for dogs on the eastern coast of Australia, with just one tick capable of causing paralysis and even death.

Worryingly, the Bravecto survey found that over one-quarter of Aussie dog owners (29%) believe that paralysis ticks will not result in the potential death of their dog1.

Using a long-lasting preventative treatment to stop paralysis ticks before they strike is a great way to prevent physical, emotional and financial pain for your pooch and for your family. 

You should also search your dog thoroughly every day. Paralysis ticks commonly attach around the head so be sure to check in and around ears and also under any collars. If you find a tick, remove it immediately with tweezers or better still, a tick-removing device, which you can get from your vet or pet store.

Fleas are also extremely common. Most dogs in Australia will regularly carry a flea burden as Australia’s warm climate, coupled with a large dog population, makes for a flea paradise!

Fleas can be a problem on the cleanest of dogs, and in the most spotless of homes; in fact, 95 percent of the flea burden is in the home.

It can take a staggering 8 weeks or more to remove a flea infestation once it is established in a home! Although summer is the prime season for fleas, many homes and pets have problems year-round, so it’s important that your precious pooch is protected with preventive treatments regularly through the year.

It’s often confusing to figure out which preventative treatments your dog needs for nasty little critters like paralysis ticks and fleas, or how often to treat. As a result, many of our four-legged friends are being unnecessarily exposed to harmful and worrying parasites that can, in some cases, cause death. Speak to your vet in the first instance as they will be able to provide the best advice based on your dog’s age and other medications.

Reference: 1. The survey was completed in April 2017 with an online permission based panel of owners of dogs in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Quotas were used for State and gender so that the results can projected to the full population of dog owners in the eastern States. The sample size is 507 which gives a confidence level of ± 4.3% at the 95% confidence interval.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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