Porky & Buddy’s Pet Health: Pets and Intelligence

Dear Porky & Buddy,

Someone just told me that having a pet will make you smarter? Is that true? Not that am worried about needing to be smarter as I am a rocket scientist. (That was sort of a dumb comment wasn’t it? Maybe I should go adopt another pet.) Anyway, I’m just curious.


Dear Frank,

Can your pet make you smarter? Maybe. A survey conducted by the American Pet Product Manufacturers’ Association several years ago revealed that owners of dogs, cats, or fish scored significantly higher on the Standard Aptitude Test than non-pet owning students did. The survey was conducted among 200 students ranging in age from 14 to 24. Of course, it may just mean that more smart people have pets.

Either way, there is also a lot of preliminary research that suggests that there are physical and mental health benefits to having pets too. Lower blood pressure, less stress, more exercise.

But our question is this. Why do you need all these fancy justifications for owning a pet? We mean, really, why not just the pure pleasure of companionship with an animal—not to speak of the fur all over the furniture, the bad breath and other noxious odors, the pouncing on your head at night, the incessant barking when you are on the phone, the cowering in the bathtub during thunder storms? How else can you find such an interesting and challenging relationship and responsibility? And maybe that does make you smarter.

Assuming it’s true, it sounds to us like you do need a adopt new pet at the Humane Society’s “Pets Make You Smarter—Back to School” Adoption Day, Saturday, August 27th, from 11 to 2 at the YMCA Armory, 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.