Is there anything more picture perfect than a cute baby cuddling with an equally cute puppy? Unlikely. I mean, your favorite memes and GIFS probably feature a combo of this dynamically adorable duo. Besides being a great photo mate, dogs can actually have a huge impact on a child's life. If you've ever wondered "how does having a dog affect kids growing up?", you may be happy to hear that dogs can positively impact kids physically, emotionally, and even intellectually.
I never had a pet growing up, thanks to a lifelong allergy to dogs and all things furry and four-legged. I never thought I'd have one as an adult either, but seeing the way my toddler shrieks with excitement every time we see a dog on the street or at the park makes me wonder if there's a life-time supply of allergy meds in my future. With all the great benefits that come along with having a dog, maybe it's worth the trade-off.
Of course, dog ownership does have some pitfalls. As cute and cuddly as they can be, picking up poop and vacuuming up fur balls is never going to be fun. But a messier house seems like a small price to pay for a happier, healthier kid. If you're thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, here are are nine ways that having a dog changes a kid for the better.