It goes without saying that as a pet owner, you’ll do everything to protect your precious dogs. But did you know that it’s actually possible for you to love your pets more than other humans?
Research published in Society and Animals, revealed that people “are more empathetic towards dogs than fellow humans.”
In an experiment, the researchers showed fake news clippings to 240 college students—either about an attack of another person or the attack of a dog. The fake report stated that the victim was attacked "with a baseball bat by an unknown assailant," and was left injured, with multiple lacerations.
The test subjects were given the same report but with different victims—a one-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy, or a six-year-old dog. Afterwards, they were asked about how they felt about the news clipping to measure their level of empathy.
It was found that the respondents felt more distressed when the victims of the abuse was a dog, than when the victim was another adult. The "empathy levels for the puppy, older dog, and baby human were on similar levels, while the adult person came last." It shows that people are more prone to empathize with the victim when they can’t defend themselves.
This further proves that as pet parents, people often treat their fur babies as members of the family (aka like actual human children).
Follow Karla on Instagram.