Moms, if you have a pet dog who your kids consider part of the family, give yourself a pat on the back. According to recent research, the relationship between your fur baby and your human babies might be even more important than you originally thought.
The February 2018 study found that kids who have close relationships with their dogs are also more securely attached to their parents and share better bonds with their close friends. Researchers at Kent State University analyzed 99 children who had pet dogs and had the kiddos fill out questionnaires about their relationships with their furry friends as well as their human friends and family members. Ultimately, findings showed that if one of the kid's relationships was strong, the other bonds were likely to be strong as well.
Though we can't say we're entirely surprised by this research, it's interesting that the researchers aren't sure which bond — with the doggo or with the humans — developed first for these kids. Lead researcher Kathryn Kerns told The Washington Post that the findings could mean that children caring deeply about pets makes them feel closer to important people in their lives, or it could mean that these kids' relationships with people serve as models for how they should treat their beloved animals. It could also be a beautiful mix of the two.
No matter what the reason is, we're just delighted to hear that science is finally backing up what we've secretly known all along to be true. If you'd like to add to your "fur" family and have little human kids or grandkids running around, the American Kennel Club has lots of great kid-friendly dog breed suggestions, including Beagles, Boxers, and Golden Retreivers.
Who knows? Maybe one of them could become your child's new best pal.
Learn all about the new golden retreiver "egg challenge" that's captivating the internet in the video below:
h/t Washington Post