In 2017, Cambridge researchers looked at the interactions of 12-year-olds and their pets in 77 British households. The children were asked about the quality of relationships with their family members, including pets. That quality was calculated across four different dimensions: satisfaction with the relationship, feelings of companionship, communication, and conflict.
Of those parameters, the kids reported not only less conflict with pets than their siblings, but also more satisfaction. That's a polite, academic way of saying they felt a stronger bond with their pet than with their brother or sister. Moreover, researchers noted that in the hierarchy of pets, kids were most bonded with dogs.
So consider this original Bored Panda list as the following argument: if you believe that your kids don't need a dog, you must be a cat. While we're at it, check out a compilation of photos we put together in the past to support this claim too.
8 Months Ago, Our Son Got A Support Dog. Our Son Was Mostly Wheelchair Dependent. We Hoped His Dog Would Help Him Grow Stronger. I Think We Can Conclude That Together They Succeeded
Coming back to the eye-opening research we talked about at the beginning of this post, Matt Cassels, a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the Department of Psychiatry, who led the study, said that anyone who has loved a childhood pet knows that we turn to them for companionship and disclosure, just like relationships between people.
"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," Cassels explained.
A Baby And His Dog
According to the academic, even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings. And the fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit! It means they are completely non-judgmental.
"While previous research has often found that boys report stronger relationships with their pets than girls do, we actually found the opposite. While boys and girls were equally satisfied with their pets, 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," Cassels said.
Dr. Nancy Gee, Human-Animal Interaction Research Manager at WALTHAM and a co-author of the study, added that evidence continues to grow, showing that pets have positive benefits on human health and community cohesion.
"The social support that adolescents receive from pets may well support psychological well-being later in life but there is still more to learn about the long term impact of pets on children’s development."
I Volunteer For A Dog Rescue, We Love Seeing Updates Of The Dogs In Their New Homes. This One Made Me Smile
My Son Has Autism And One Of His Unique Trait, Is His Need For Physical Contact At All Times. Barb Came Into Our Lives And Elected Herself To The Position Of Weighted Blanket & Bodyguard
We Told Lincoln To Watch Some Youtube Videos On How To Train His Puppy
So here he is, showing them to the dog.
Two Street Children, With Barely Enough Money To Afford Slippers, Bandage An Injured Puppy
My Daughter Has A Huge Heart For Dogs And Begged For Months To Get Another Rescue. She Even Used All Her Money To Pitch In For The Fees. Here She Is With Our Third Rescue Pupper, Daisy
A Sleeping Baby, Dog, And Cat. I Think I Win The Internet High Score
And I Never Thought That 17 Years Later, My Best Friend Would Live To Meet My First Child
So, Cassidy (My Daughter) Was Snuggling Elsa (Our Rescue Pup) Under Her Hoodie. I Walked Into The Room And Asked "Where's Elsa?" Well, Elsa Tried To Get To Me
Our Neighbor Gives Treats Through The Fence. Recently He Has Been Giving My Daughter Treats Too. This Is Them Waiting Patiently Today
Their Dog Hasn’t Eaten Well Since They Brought Their Baby Home - Dog Kept Taking Food Into The Living Room And Leaving It There
Someone suggested the dog might be worried the baby isn’t visibly eating, so is “feeding” the baby. They tried giving the baby a bowl of food at the same time. It worked!