How a dog can help you have empathetic kids

By developing empathy. 

One of the cornerstones of EQ is empathy, which should be taught and modeled starting in early childhood. A variety of research in the U.S. and Britain, including by the late psychologist Robert Poresky of Kansas State University, has shown a correlation between attachment to a pet and higher empathy scores.

The reason is obvious: Caring for a pet draws a self-absorbed child away from himself or herself. Empathy also involves the ability to read nonverbal cues – facial expressions, body language, gestures – and pets offer nothing but nonverbal cues.