Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Are dogs 'kids'? New research on the human-pet relationship

Pets are good for humans, we know this beyond a doubt. Studies conclusively show that pets lead to better health, less stress, better self confidence, and with many other benefits. But, what about the other way around? Are we good for the pets? writes about a study at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. The study investigated the bond between dogs and humans, and found striking similarities to a parent-child relationship.

While the following might seem intuitive and right to pet owners, it might surprise members of the public who lack a deep relationship with an animal: just as humans need other humans, animals need relationships with others of their kind.

For domesticated animals, a human can assume the role of a pet's main social partner.

Even more interesting: human children use their caregivers as a secure base when it comes to interacting with the rest of the world. Dogs behave toward their caregivers just like children do. We become their secure base.

The bonding is real, from both parties. Dogs are motivated by their human's presence, and just any person won't do.

~ Maria Sadowski

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