Top 10 Ways Dogs Are Perfect for People with Autism

By Joel Snyder

People often have a special bond with their pets. But this is especially true for people who have autism, including children with autism. When humans have autism, they form a special bond with their dogs. The very experience of training a dog can make an amazing difference in how people and children with autism behave and feel.

Kids with autism often experience less meltdowns when they have a dog with them and thus the parents feel less stressed. The dogs can make a difference in the areas of overall confidence, anxiety and communication within and outside of the close family. Families also get to do more together.

So, you can leverage the support of a trained dog to help your child or other person with autism in your environment. It can make them feel better and reduce their symptoms, helping them to better adjust to society. Here are the ten specific ways these furry friends can make a huge difference.

Dog and Girl in field.

#1: Dogs Help with Road Safety

Dogs specifically trained for people with autism are super helpful in traffic. They offer assisted intervention which can make their human partners safer and more aware of what is happening in the traffic. This can save countless lives and help people feel more confident on the roads. It's also a lot safer for children who fear or dislike human contact because the dog can react, if necessary, in an instant.

#2: Kids with Autism Play Games with their Dogs

Simple games can be a great way for people to acquire regular social skills like sharing, taking turns and so on. They can play Pairs, Hide and seek and more. The dog will help them by enticing the play time that will bring plenty of sunshine and happiness into their days. You will be able to notice a difference in how your child behaves after spending some time with a trained dog.

#3: There's No Substitute for Canine Companionship

People with autism are often lonely and feel left out from the ordinary life. This is especially true in children who often suffer from not having any friends or friends with which that they can truly enjoy themselves. In some cases, this can lead to suicidal thoughts. But when a dog comes on the scene, they form a connection that is much like a friendship and your child will be a lot happier.

Dogs and Autism

#4: Dogs Reduce Family Stress

"Stress is a huge issue for families who have autistic children or family members. This reflects back on the person suffering from autism and it's a bad circle. When a dog enters your life, the meltdowns and the behaviour changes for the better, ultimately helping your family feel better," says Sacha Mills, applied behaviour analyst at

#5: Pets Help Children Overcome Fear

People with autism often have fears that are making their daily lives very complicated. A dog can help them feel safer in many situations and improve their anxiety. It's extremely useful for stressful situations, starting school and so on.

#6: Dogs Brings New Opportunities

Living with autism means that your child will have to follow strict routines. They will also have narrow interests that are often repetitive. However, you can find many new opportunities and fun things to try when a dog is around. Your child will be more open to new things.

#7: Dogs Provide Sensory Help

The presence of a dog is reassuring and it can help your child or any person feel calm and relaxed, especially with high stress and anxiety levels. A furry, comforting head on the lap can make all of the difference.

#8: Kids will Spend More Time Outside

With a dog around, you will sometimes have no choice but to go outside. But you will also notice that the person with autism will start to like being outside and in social situations. The dog will protect them and they can be reassured of that.

#9: People with Autism Start to Talk More

People with autism often have fears that are making their daily lives very complicated. A dog can help them feel safer in many situations and improve their anxiety. It's extremely useful for stressful situations, starting school and so on.

Cute Dog at the Abilities Expo

#10: Form Relationships that Lasts

"People with autism may not like other humans very much but they will form a relationship with the dog," says Millicent Fuller, occupational therapist at Write My X and BritStudent.

Dogs are wonderful partners for people with autism. They can help them experience life in a new way and get better at being social.

About the Author:

Joel Snyder is social worker and writer at PhDKingdom and NextCoursework, educational services. He enjoys helping people to enjoy life at its fullest as well as creating articles about things that excite him. His main goal is to find ways to help children have a happy and safe childhood.


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