Are you a “helicopter” pet parent?

Woman and Dogs

A recent study of pet owners by researchers from two California universities suggests that being an overprotective pet parent may not be such a bad thing. There is an ongoing debate on what is the best parenting style for human children, but for your fur kids, a little anxious parenting might be just the thing to cement the bond between you and your pet.

Over 1,000 dog and cat owners were surveyed about their personality traits and pet parenting styles. Researchers found that the pet owners who identified themselves as conscientious and even a bit neurotic showed greater levels of affection and attachment towards their pets than those who did not.

Girl with cat1

Five human personality characteristics (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) were measured alongside the subjects’ levels of attachment to their pets. People who exhibited “anxious attachment” tended to be younger, chose cats as their preferred pet, and expressed the need for reassurance from their pet. Both dog and cat owners scored low on the “avoidant attachment” scale, suggesting that most pet owners value close and affectionate relationships with their pets.

Researchers speculate that the combination of higher levels of neuroticism, affection and anxious attachment is ultimately good for a pet’s well-being. Pets with helicopter parents are more likely to receive a high level of care and attention throughout their lifespan.

For more on the study, click HERE.