We all have different reasons for owning a pet: companionship, unconditional love, helping children understand nature and our role in the natural world, and just plain fun. But do you use your pet as a sounding board?

The results of a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press and Petside.com seem to indicate that many people do. According to the poll, a full one third of married women believe their pets are better listeners than their husbands. More people polled felt that dogs were better listeners than cats.

The poll also indicated that most people think their pets are generally happy, with only a small percentage responding that they have ever sought help for signs of depression in their pets. Seems like animals can listen to our problems without being affected by them emotionally — or maybe they understand that they help us by listening and just being there.

If you want to return the favor and decipher what your pets are trying to tell you, check out this kid-friendly activity on Understanding Your Pet at HowStuffWorks.com.

What do you think? Is your pet your favorite confidant or surrogate therapist? Which pets make the best listeners? Has your pet ever betrayed a confidence? We love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.

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