A new study shows children may be closer to their pets than their siblings, and TBH we kinda get it

People often casually talk about how their pets are legitimate members of their family. But a new study actually suggests it’s more than just a saying.

The study shows that children get more satisfaction out of pet interactions than those with their siblings.

The University of Cambridge researchers studied 12-year-olds from several different families. Each of the children studied had both pets and other siblings present in the household. And they found that the children generally treated the pet similarly to the sibling. They’d confide in it and spend quality time playing with it. And, most surprisingly, actually seemed to enjoy it more than the humans they were genetically related to.

One of the researchers, Matt Cassels, explains that the finds are pretty logical.

He says, “Even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings. The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental.”

And anyone who has ever owned a pet can vouch for the fact that they make great, non-judgmental listeners.

Interestingly, they found some differences in how genders interact with their pet.

Both boys and girls bond with their animal friends in similar ways. But the way girls treat their pets is on a slightly different level.

As Cassels explains, “…girls reported more disclosure, companionship, and conflict with their pet than did boys, perhaps indicating that girls may interact with their pets in more nuanced ways.”

So next time you call your pet your “best friend,” you can rest assured that science basically has your back that animals are simply the best.

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