You may be searching for yourself or your child and wondering if dogs are good for autism.
The answer is yes.
Many people with autism strongly bond with a dog for good reasons. Research shows that children with autism with a dog companion have fewer meltdowns, lower stress levels, and better social skills.
It’s no question that dogs are great companions, especially when they are well-trained or trained therapy dogs.
We’ve seen beautiful, loving bonds between dogs and their owners. Certainly, we can see the benefits of having a dog for someone in the home with autism.
10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Good for Autism
Greater Social Skills
Research shows that having a dog in the family increases a child with autism’s social skills. After playing with a pet, versus a toy, children used more communication. Additionally, children with autism who have a family pet in the home have more social skills. Beyond this, dogs are social magnets and may help children find new friends or feel comfortable meeting new people.
It’s cheesy – but dogs really are man’s best friend. Dogs love unconditionally with no judgment. A dog can be a friend that any child or adult needs.
An Emotional Anchor
Adding a dog to the family unit can offer a person with autism an emotional anchor. Parents can use the dog to teach and model caring behavior and practice caring for others’ needs. Likewise, a dog can be an incredible listening ear for a child that needs to speak their mind. Additionally, a child can pet a dog and practice controlled breathing and meditation.
Provide Physical Safety
While connecting your dog and child together is not advised, a well-trained dog can provide physical safety for your child, especially if they like to wander. At the park, store, or anywhere else you go, your child may prefer to hold onto your dog’s leash instead of wandering off. A person with autism may feel more protected from unfamiliar surroundings by having their dog be a physical barrier. The dog is then supporting their person emotionally and physically.
Being responsible for a pup in the house is a big deal and a decision that should not be made lightly. That being said, taking care of a dog helps teach responsibility to any child. Additionally, dogs thrive on a schedule, just like children do, and practicing that regime is excellent for a person with autism.
The Practice of Practical Skills
Taking care of a dog takes a lot of everyday skills, such as pouring food, balancing while carrying the dog’s water bowl, brushing the dog’s hair, and bathing the dog. Tasks such as putting on the dog’s collar and playing fetch practice fine and gross motor skills. Additionally, owning a dog can teach cause and effect, such as taking the dog for a walk will make the dog happy.
Teachers and parents know playtime is incredibly important for a child’s growth. Adding a pup to your family will encourage more playing and exploration. Just the steps of playing fetch can be a learning experience and a physical outlet for the dog and child.
Dogs are a calming focus for a person with autism, which is why the dog’s presence can help a child overcome fear. As an example, the dog can support the child when they visit the dentist, get a vaccination, or start school.
Having a dog join the family is a great way to get out there and try new things. You’ll want to have fun with your new pup by bringing them to the park or on car rides. These are all unique, fun experiences and opportunities.
It has been proven that petting a dog or having a dog rest his head on your lap reduces stress. This can be great for a child who needs a moment of calm after having high anxiety. Certainly, petting a dog is excellent for a child with sensory needs.
Feathers and Fleece Therapy Dogs
At Feathers and Fleece, we place about 30% of our dogs with families looking for support dogs.
Here’s why people love our pups;
Our dogs are highly intelligent and bred from the smartest pups around. The Poodle is an intelligent dog breed, which is why doodle mixes are so smart. Consequently, our Whoodles, Sheepadoodles, and Schnoodles are all intelligent, thoughtful, and intuitive puppies.
At Feathers and Fleece, we offer a 4-week Emotional Support Training Program designed for children and adults who need an emotional support dog. From day one, we’re with you to find the best pup.
Having a well-trained, intelligent dog is excellent for a person with autism. Still, it only makes it better that our pups are downright adorable. There is nothing that compares to petting and snuggling a fluffy puppy. It’s like having a living, breathing, and (sometimes) barking teddy bear.
Feathers and Fleece Dogs are Good for Autism
Dogs are overwhelmingly good for people with autism. Do you think that a Feathers and Fleece dog will be a good fit in your family? And are you ready to support someone in your house with autism? Check out our dogs here, and let us help you along your path to finding a companion today.