Why do we Treat our Pets Like our Kids?

A humans’ love for their pet seems to have scientific support

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Why we love our pets

Whether you have a pet or not, we all know that pet owners love their pets—some even to the extent of calling them their children and treating them as such.

But, if you’re like me, have ever wondered why some pet owners do this?

Well, at the risk of being too scientific about it, there have been quite a few studies about why we treat our pets like children, with one from 2014 that surveyed women who have both actual human children and fur children and then showed them pictures of their real children and fur children and then pictures of other unknown (to the women) children and animals while undergoing a fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).

The results of this study showed that the women, of course, had a similar higher emotional attachment to their own children and fur children than the ones they did not know.

Similarly, a 2016 “study” showed the relationship humans have with dogs and cats respectively and analyzed the similarities between humans and dogs and humans and cats.

And finally, a 2015 study showed that the love a human feels for its pet, and visa versa, is the same as a hormone and oxytocin spikes in human and canine brains and suggesting that dogs love their owners just as much as the owner love them and other members of their family.

Speaking on the results of this study, Dr Miho Nagasawa, from Sagamihara, Japan’s Azabu University’s department of animal science said, “These results suggest that humans may feel affection for their companion dogs similar to that felt toward human family members,

“Oxytocin plays a primary role in regulating social bonding between mother and infants and between sexual partners”.

So maybe pet owners who consider them their fur babies aren’t as crazy as might think they are.

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Rowena Nagy is a graduate of The University of Tasmania and has over three years of experience as a writer and journalist and brings that knowledge and skill to all tasks she approaches. She has also worked in radio, co-hosting and co-producing a news and current affairs program during her Bachelor of Arts Degree and received a second-class lower division score for her Honours thesis on celebrity, media, and privacy. Rowena aims to gain experience in all areas of media and has high career aspirations.