The title ‘man’s best friend’ is deservedly won by dogs; they’re forgiving, loyal, unconditionally loving, and will drop whatever they’re doing (or chewing, specifically) to have just five minutes of fetch with their beloved master.
It can easily be argued that there’s no better companion than a four-legged counterpart – and their qualities are such that everybody could learn how to be a better human just by being in their presence.
So it’s little surprise, then, that a recent study found that the bond between kids and their pets is strong – even stronger than with their own siblings.
77 12-year-olds were interviewed, and the children reported “more satisfaction and less conflict” with their furry friends than with their brothers and sisters.
Girls in particular were more likely to prefer the company of pets, and dogs appeared to offer the most relationship satisfaction (as if cats would be the slightest bit perturbed).
Of course, the study sample is pretty small, and tweens very rarely get on with their siblings. And the good news is that wars over bathroom time, clothes, TV channels, etc. (ad nauseum) do eventually resolve themselves, so don’t feel too bad if you gave your kid a brother instead of a beagle.