There are few things in life that are more satisfying than cuddling with a dog. Dogs are not just animals; they are man’s best friend. We call them this because they occupy a space in our hearts and lives that no other animal can fill. Dogs are our running buddies, our therapists, our babysitters, our guardians, our adventure partners and our guides. They have helped us eat and work, kept us warm as we slept and protected us throughout the night. To have a dog is to have a partner for life.

Clinically speaking, there are a number of health benefits that come from raising children with animals. Babies who live in close proximity to animals are healthier, with fewer allergies and stronger immune systems. Dogs, in particular, provide constant companionship. Imagine the emotional security that comes with knowing that your best friend is always nearby and waiting with kisses!

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Having a dog in the family also means more exercise for everyone, while tending to animals can foster a sense of responsibility in children. Growing up with an animal also mean an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels, chemicals that may actually play a part in teaching kids how to love.

You need to look no further than this single image for proof of this fact:

dog and baby

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Too often, people feel the need to make a choice between babies and animals. This results in many good animals being thrown away, simply because their human’s couldn’t take the time to train them in baby etiquette. Many people don’t understand that hyper puppies eventually become calm older dogs and don’t give them a chance. And, while puppies almost always need to learn what is appropriate for the baby in the house, this is where older dogs, older momma dogs especially, can be absolute gems.

A dog of five is kind of like a 35-year-old person, they will play from time to time, but mostly, they just want to snuggle. Sadly, older dogs can be the last to get adopted from shelters, even though they are usually housetrained and often good with kids.

The baby in this picture is lucky because she is already learning a valuable lesson about how to love. Love is not limited by species or words or thumbs or tails; it is a universal feeling that we all need to give and receive.

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Image source: Imgur