Better Than a Brother or Sister? A dog!

Perhaps this is not news to any parent with more than 1 kid and at least one pet; but it turns out that having a pet is better than having a sibling!  According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge and published in the Journal of Applied Development, having a pet provides greater satisfaction than having a sibling.  According to the study, “[e]ven though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings.  . . . The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental.”  The study also found that girls seem to have a stronger relationship with their pets.
As many of you already know, I live with 4 teenagers and 3 dogs, and while I am not a big fan of psychiatry overall (I’m just not that deep of a thinker), I found this study pretty reflective of what goes on in my house.  One of my daughters relies on her dog way more than her sister or brothers as a source of comfort when stressed and I think talks out many of her issues with her dog (sure, while that can make me feel a bit inadequate as a parent at times it probably also saves me hours of hearing the same story over and over again).

So San Francisco parents…if you’re thinking about having a second (or more) kid because you think your current child needs companionship, think again and just get a dog!  Sure a dog can be expensive (you did plan on sending him or her to doggie day care every day didn’t you?), but trust me, they are a lot cheaper than another kid and you don’t have to deal with the San Francisco public school lottery.

Thanks for reading.
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