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Do Pets Make Kids Smarter?

Kids dog
Pete Lounsbury, Flickr

If you have or are thinking of having kids, it might be a good idea to also add a pet to the equation. That’s because last month a study found that babies who grow up in households with pets are healthier than their pet-less counterparts. And now a survey of children suggests that having a furry friend is one of the keys to academic success.

According to a Pet at Home poll of 1,000 pet-owning children, 79% believe that having a pet has had a positive effect on both their homework and their work at school.

Over 50% of the kids also answered that living with an animal has made them smarter in general.

While just about any kind of pet makes a kid feel more intelligent and better about their school work, for what it’s worth mice and chinchillas seem to really up a youngster’s self-perceived IQ.

Of course simply asking kids if having a pet makes them smarter isn’t rock solid evidence of increased intelligence. But previous studies have found that pets really do improve the physical and mental health of their owners. So it’s not that much of stretch to believe they can at least make kids feel more positive about their school work.

What do you think? Can a pet make you smarter?

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