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Kids Have Better Relationships With Pets Than Siblings, New Research Says

Having children is not like having a pet, no matter what your “friends” without them say. If you ask your kid, having a pet is way better than having a kid. At least that’s what researchers from Cambridge University found in a forthcoming study.

The research, to be published in April 2017 Journal Of Applied Developmental Psychology, evaluated the relationships 12-year-olds had with their pets and siblings using the Network Of Relationships Inventory (NRI) — a survey that measures family relationships. They then compared the quality of relationships, as well as how they differed depending on gender and type of pet.

Overall, subjects cited greater satisfaction and less conflict with pets compared to siblings. Dog owners reported greater companionship compared to other pets. And cats reported not giving a damn what humans think as long as they still get fed. Interestingly, girls experience more disclosure, companionship, and conflict with pets than boys — kind of a cat move.

While only 77 kids were studied and they may be older than your youngster, past research shows that having pets can help with cognitive development as early as 4 months old. If you’re deciding between a pet and a second kid, you know where your first born stands. Whatever you do, don’t ask your dog how they feel about having a human sibling. The answer is always going to be ruff.

[H/T] Tech Times