French Bulldog and owner in the park

Being an overprotective parent might not be great for kids, but a new study finds that it could be an advantage when it comes to dogs and cats. A survey of 1,000 pet owners from researchers the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, East Bay, analyzed the personality traits and nurturing styles of pet owners. Those who expressed the greatest affection for their pets also rated among the most conscientious and neurotic. That suggests the qualities that make for overbearing parents might work better for cats and dogs, who require lifelong parenting, researchers said. It’s the first study to find a positive correlation between neuroticism, anxious attachment and the care of and affection for pets, said CSU-East Bay psychologist Gretchen Reevy, co-author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. — Read it at Science Daily