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Which Surprising Pet Makes Kids Smarter?

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If you want your children to do better in school -- get them a chinchilla. A new study found a link between a better performance in the classroom and kids who have pets, especially the aforementioned soft rodents.

Surprisingly it was the chinchilla that emerged as the most likely animal to boost a child's cleverness, with 55% of owners reporting an uptick in creativity. If it's just a kid's homework that needs a boost, consider adopting mice or rats as 92% of rodent owners reported a better performance on assignments, compared  with 86% and 80% for children owning dogs and cats respectively.

Rescuing and adopting chinchillas | Webvet

The underlying belief is that caring for a pet makes children more responsible. In the Pets at Home study, nearly half of children said that owning and looking after a pet makes them happier, a third claimed to be calmer, while a fifth feel smarter.

However it seems as though most kids still leave dog walking and litter-scooping to their parents as it's reptiles -- not cats and dogs -- who inspire youngsters to take complete ownership of the animal. Reptile owners, with 68%, top the charts for those believing their pet had given them a greater sense of responsibility. Rabbit owners come second with 61%, followed by 40% for cat owners and 36% for dog owners.
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