Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by john. john Wonders, “how does reading to dogs make us smarter” Thanks for WONDERing with us, john!

Do you have a favorite bedtime story? There’s nothing like reading a book or short story with a family member before dozing off. However, one special member of the family may be even more fun to read with than others. Who are we talking about? The family pet, of course!

Family pets may not have a lot to say, but they make great listeners. If you have a cat, dog, fish, or other pet at home, you may already talk to them from time to time. Why not read them a story as well?

Some studies have shown that reading to pets can help you become a stronger reader. There are several reasons for this. One is that kids tend to be less stressed when reading to animals as opposed to other people. They know their four-legged audience is patient and nonjudgmental. This can bolster confidence and encourage kids to read more often and for longer periods of time.

This can lead to major growth in reading ability. A study by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine observed the practice over a 10-week period. It found that children who participated in a canine reading program improved their literacy skills by 12 to 30 percent.

Of course, this practice isn’t just good for the humans involved. That’s right—pets also benefit from family reading sessions. It should come as no surprise to any pet owner that these animals enjoy the extra attention and one-on-one time with their favorite family members. Reading aloud to the family pet can be as much fun for them as it is for you.

Canine reading programs are popping up in many public libraries and elementary schools. The next time you’re at the local library, keep an eye out for a four-legged friend. When it comes to literacy, dogs (and other pets!) really can be humankind’s best friend.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.10, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s soft and cuddly Wonder of the Day promises to be a hare-raising look at an animal with four very lucky feet!