Dogs have notoriously been considered man’s best friend, but a new study, released today by Mars Petcare, shows that the attachment between people and their pets begins at a much earlier age.
The study of 1,000 children aged between nine and 10 years old, conducted in conjunction with the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and the University of Liverpool, revealed significant levels of attachment, with 80 per cent of children considering their pet a member of their family.
Pets play a significant role in socialisingand developing children as the research revealed that almost 50 per cent of children talked to their pets as they would to their friends, while over one in three confided in their pets. The study also revealed that more than a third of children believe their pets understand how they feel, demonstrating the pivotal role that animals play in the lives of young children.
The research looked at the ownership of a range of pets such as cats, horses and fish; however dogs proved to be the favourite pet with over half of those surveyed preferring them, followed by cats at only 15 per cent.