Dogs have notoriously been considered a man’s best friend, but a new study shows that the attachment between people and their pets begins at a much earlier age.

Research conducted by Mars Petcare suggests pets play a significant role in socialising and developing children. 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. More than a third of children believe their pets understand how they feel.

Dr Sandra McCune, scientific leader for human-animal Interaction at the Waltham® Centre for Pet Nutrition, says: “Pets play a crucial role in the development of children, allowing them to socialise, care for and nurture others. This is particularly important for children who do not have siblings to learn from and play with.

“Playing, taking care of and talking to animals can have a really positive impact on a child’s development.”


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