Benefits of Reading to Your Furbaby
While reading about animals to young children can create love and respect for them, the reading doesn’t have to end there. Kids and adults of all ages benefit from reading out loud, and when you start reading to your furbaby, you may start to see that it’s good for your pet, too.
Reading can be considered therapeutic and relaxing for humans, but what about your dog? Dogs love routine, comfort, and feeling safe, all of which reading can help to accomplish. If you can make a habit of spending some time each night before going to bed reading a few chapters out loud while laying or sitting within arms reach of your furbaby, you may soon find your dog excitedly awaiting for the special time each day.
This little tradition can also include your child. You can bring your dog in for your bedtime stories each night, and once your little one is old enough to read solo, he can perform his 30 minutes of reading each day to his best friend. The bond between a child and his (or her) dog is one that will be cherished for a lifetime, and the simple act of reading together brings another level to the relationship.
Not only is reading great for their relationship, but your child will benefit in numerous other ways. Research shows that reading aloud to dogs improves a child’s outlook toward ‘school’ books. With the pressures of academics being felt as early as kindergarten now, giving your child a safe place to practice his required reading may actually help him perform better in school. Reading to a dog presents a safety net - a judgment-free zone where your child can read without fear of failing. This increases self-esteem and confidence levels at home and at school.
Studies have also found that children will spend longer reading to a dog than reading with a parent or independently. Those uninterrupted moments grant the time needed for a child to work on comprehension skills and fluency. It also means that they may finish a book, which provides a huge sense of accomplishment for a younger child.
The same calming and relaxing feelings that occur when you read to your dog also happen when your child reads to his best friend. Simply stroking or petting the pup can reduce anxiety and stress levels in a child, a benefit needed for most children in today’s world. Many libraries nationwide have recently added a therapy dog to their staff for children to read to because of the results of this recent research.
It’s the perfect time of year to start this reading tradition in your home! Head to the library and grab a few books for you (and you kids!) to cuddle up next to your favorite furbaby and read this week.