Kids who have pets do better at their homework - with RAT owners best of all, according to a new study.
A survey of 1,000 pet-owning children, aged between 5-16 years old, revealed that 79 percent believe their pet friends had a positive effect on their homework and schoolwork in general.
The study, commissioned by Pets at Home, revealed the top, er, dogs, were children with rats and mice, followed by those owning dogs, then cats.
Wildlife TV presenter and animal lover Michaela Strachan said: "I have a seven-year-old and three older step children. We have a Jack Russell and my step daughter has two rescue dogs.
"Toto, our dog, is part of our family and has brought huge benefits to Ollie, my son. Jade's two rescue dogs, Marley and Timmy, have had a really positive impact.
Owning a pet can increase a child's sense of responsibility, nurture a more caring attitude and develop self-confidence and, in the case of having a dog, it encourages kids to get outside more.
Scott Jefferson, marketing director for Pets at Home, concluded: "Owning a pet also has a positive impact on a child's level of fitness. More than 30 per cent of children who took part in our survey said they had become more active as a result of owning a pet."
Rats? Really? Would you have a pet rat?