Briana Hansen
Feb 01, 2017 @ 1:43 pm
dog kid
Credit: Shutterstock

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.

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.

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.