While your cat insists on parking its butt on all your important papers, your dog might be HELPING the people in your home read. Specifically, your kids. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that children tend to read more, and be more engrossed in what they’re reading, when a DOG is in the room. They had a bunch of 8- and 9-year-olds sit and read books out loud. First without a dog, and then with a therapy dog in the room with them. And with the dog there, they got through more pages . . . felt more interested in what they were reading . . . and were more likely to want to KEEP reading.
The researchers intentionally chose books that were slightly above each kid’s reading level, just to see how quickly they’d get frustrated. And for some reason, having a dog there made them try harder and stick with it. It’s not clear why it works, but previous studies have had similar results. It might be that having a dog around just keeps kids calm.
Either way, it’s more evidence that having a dog could be beneficial for your kids, especially if they’ve had a hard time with their reading skills.