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Radio host Gemma Atkinson gushes about benefits of raising daughter around dogs

Gemma Atkinson has revealed the benefits of raising her young daughter Mia alongside her beloved Spaniels, Norman and Ollie, and the valuable life lessons they teach her.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 06/11/2020, 09:00

Before she took to the airwaves as a radio presenter, Gemma Atkinson became a household name thanks to roles in Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Casualty. She's also been a star on Strictly and fitness fan.

But aside from her career, Gemma's other important roles are as the mum of one-year-old Mia, and owner of Norman and Ollie, her two Spaniels.

Proud mum and dog owner

Gemma regularly shares photos of Mia, Norman and Ollie on her Instagram, much to the delight of her 1.5 million followers. Still, it has led to negative comments from people saying she shouldn't allow her daughter to be around her dogs so much.

But while Gemma is confident she knows Norman and Ollie's character inside out, she never leaves Mia alone with them. She believes that it's part of the responsibility of parenting both humans and dogs.

Valuable life lessons

Gemma was just 18 months when she got her first pet. After being brought up with dogs, she's keen for the family pets to help her daughter learn about compassion and responsibility.

Gemma and her boyfriend, Strictly dancer Gorka Marquez, are focused on teaching Mia about living with dogs. Norman and Ollie both took to little Mia really well and were happy to welcome her into the family pack. Mia is encouraged to be very hands-on with the dogs, helping to feed them and give them treats.

The couple also credits their canine companions with helping them through the difficult months in lockdown, encouraging the family to get out for walks and helping their mental health and wellbeing. 

Well done Norman and Ollie!

To ensure both your child and dog stay safe, check out our guide on how to teach children to respect dogs.