Pets for kids with ADHD and ODD

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  ADHDmomma 3 days, 6 hours ago.

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  • #84397


    My son has always wanted a dog, and I have been adamantly against it (dog hair, dog dirt, dog poo, getting up in middle of night, etc). However, we recently went to a soccer game and he had the chance to play with a sweet little puppy and he really loved it. Does anyone have a pet, or introduced a pet to their child with ADHD/ODD as a means to provide “comfort care”, or just as a special friend for the child (my son has very few friends and is bored after school and weekends.) If so, was it a good decision? Did you see any change in your child?

  • #84410


    Hi there – we have a 16 year old son with ADHD, Asperger’s, Anxiety, ODD, Pervasive Development Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder. When he was 7 years old, and our 2nd son was 6 months old, we bought a Mini Schnauzer puppy for his birthday. They grow to be about 15-20 inches tall, 15-20 lbs in weight. They don’t shed, are hypo-allergenic (3 of us have allergies and asthma) and very intelligent. We are very happy with this breed. He has a very good, calm temperament. He’s not too big. My son could lift him up.

    We actually found that this dog helped with my son’s Aspergers – this is a Socialization Disorder where children don’t understand social cues and/or behaviour in public or private. The dog would growl if my son did something that made the dog uncomfortable (ie: squeeze him too hard or cover him with his body or blankets, etc). My son was able to learn from this dog that people also have social cues, that aren’t growling. We couldn’t believe it – but we would swear by this breed.

    In addition, dogs need lots of exercise so if your child is quite hyper then a dog might be a good choice. Mini Schnauzers definitely LOVE to run. Do some research on the breed and ask around to see if you know anyone with a similar situation.

  • #84411


    Thank you. My son is also very out of touch with social cues, so thanks for mentioning how that has helped your son.

  • #84502


    Several readers with pets weigh in on the benefits to their kids with ADHD in this article:

    Your Turn: Does a Pet Help You or Your Child Feel Better?

    Emotional support animals are becoming more and more common. And a dog will love you unconditionally, which is priceless when many people in our kids’ lives turn away from them.

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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