Scientists have concluded that kids like their pets more than they do relationships with their siblings. According to Metro UK, the study focused on 12-year-old children from 77 different households, each with one or more pets and one or more children.
Relative to their siblings, these 12-year-olds reported having stronger relationships with their pets, and researchers aren’t surprised.
”Anyone who has loved a childhood pet knows that we turn to them for companionship and disclosure, just like relationships between people,” said the leader of the study Matt Cassells, a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the Department of Psychiatry.
“We wanted to know how strong these relationships are with pets relative to other close family ties. Ultimately this may enable us to understand how animals contribute to healthy child development”
”Even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings,” Cassels continued. “The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental.”
Additionally, the study found the girls had more disclosure, companionship, and conflict with their pets than boys, and that these effects could even manifest later in life for both. So go ahead, give your kitty, doggo, or whatever animal it may be another kiss — as if you needed an excuse.